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Why make time for maths play

Far too many people have experienced (or are experiencing) maths class as serious, tedious, and painful. 

In general, maths education needs a shake-up and one way we are shaking things up is to create dedicated time and space for mathematical play. And see what happens. 

Here's some of what we've found:

When learners are given time for free play/exploration in a mathematical environment, a bunch of benefits reveal themselves.  

Here are just three benefits that dedicated time for maths play bring:

1. Time to become familiar with important tools and resources ahead of more structured lessons. Whether physical manipulatives like Unifix and pattern blocks through to coding technology and other maths tools.

2. Opportunities to learn what students know and can do in a context that is meaningful to them - play. 

 3. Develop positive relationships - with peers, teachers, and with mathematics.

Here's a 2023 article written for Prime Number about time spent running free maths play sessions alongside more structured maths lessons in a Foundation / Year 1 class. The Maths Association of Victoria (publisher) gave us special permission to share it with you :)


While this article shares stories from the junior primary years, the big idea of free play/exploration is one we are exploring across the ages.

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Maths Play acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live, learn and work, and pay our respects to Elders past and present. Maths Play is dedicated to learning and operating in ways that acknowledge, respect, celebrate and learn from the original and beautiful cultures of these lands.