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Why use Board Games and Mnemonics for Learning?

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Board games approach learning and cognition in a very unique way. They allow

  • Kinesthetic learners to be hands on,

  • Visual learners to see, and

  • Auditory learners to hear and communicate through the games mechanics.

And allow all students to be hands-on while engaging in learning material.

Playing is exercise for your brain. Playing stimulates brain areas that are responsible for memory formation and complex thought processes for all ages.

Engaging in play assists in practicing essential cognitive skills, such as decision making, higher level strategic thinking, and problem solving


(Assisting or intended to assist memory)

The facts in the Math Sharp board and card games use mnemonics or icon (picture) memory hooks which are little "tricks" to link new information being learned to information you already know.

When first learning these facts your child or student is using "Working Memory."

Working memory is the brain's short-term storage space. When information is taken in, working memory holds it for a short time while it processes the information, encoding it into useful data.

Studies have shown that short-term memory is limited, and that mnemonic devices can help package and retain more information more easily in short-term memory. That packaging of data in the short-term, can in turn, assist with the creation of long-term memories.

Playing the games is a kind of repetition and rehearsal of information that enhances a process called consolidation, the process by which memories are moved from temporary storage in the hippocampus (a small structure within the brain) to more permanent storage in the cortex (the outer layer of the brain) (Richards, 2003, p. 24).*

Multiple repetitions of the information provides rehearsal, but doing so may bore students. Therefore, using strategies of game play and novelty are critical in enhancing the value of the repetition.

From there (with practice and application), the information is stored in long-term memory.

* "The Source for Learning & Memory Strategies" by Regina G. Richards

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May 11, 2023

A good explanation of why you have the "fact learning" with the games and then, having memorized the facts, apply those facts in the unique processes you've developed for addition or subtraction which are explained in the teacher and student workbooks! Great ideas and systems!


May 11, 2023

Great information!

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