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Introduction

The maths games in this book have come from numerous sources. Many are variations on traditional western games, some ideas were originally seen in educational catalogues and then adapted, and some were created to help reinforce a particular concept.

This book was written primarily for children with learning difficulties. However as the games are intended for reinforcing the very basics, they would therefore be suitable for any child between 3 and 11 years old.

All the games can, and should, be adapted for the teaching situation and the specific group of children. The ideas are not fixed: if, for example, a group of children is fascinated by animals, buying cheap toy animals to use as 'counters' to move in a game really does hold their attention.

All the games were made from basic materials such as cardboard, paper, glue, junk and cheap toys available from many shops and stalls; probably the most expensive 'ingredient' was the clear plastic that is used to cover everything. This is because I find it prolongs the life and cleanliness of the games by a great extent.

Throughout this book I do try to stress that it is very important to play these games either sitting around a low table or on the floor in a circle. It is then much easier for the children to watch one another and especially the teacher: this gives them vital clues on how to play the game. The children can also begin to learn the lesson of 'waiting their turn', which is very important but difficult for most young children to grasp.