Playing linear numerical board games promotes low-income children's numerical development

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 11, Issue 6, 895, Article first published online: 14 October 2008

Address for correspondence: Robert S. Siegler, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; e-mail: rs7k@andrew.cmu.edu

Abstract

The numerical knowledge of children from low-income backgrounds trails behind that of peers from middle-income backgrounds even before the children enter school. This gap may reflect differing prior experience with informal numerical activities, such as numerical board games. Experiment 1 indicated that the numerical magnitude knowledge of preschoolers from low-income families lagged behind that of peers from more affluent backgrounds. Experiment 2 indicated that playing a simple numerical board game for four 15-minute sessions eliminated the differences in numerical estimation proficiency. Playing games that substituted colors for numbers did not have this effect. Thus, playing numerical board games offers an inexpensive means for reducing the gap in numerical knowledge that separates less and more affluent children when they begin school.

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