Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play – Plato
If your goal is to develop mathematical skills or help others develop them,
you’ll notice that these puzzles and games are more than fun – they involve
sequential and spatial reasoning, as well as logical arguments of many sorts.
Examples of the type of questions that arise: What do we know for sure?, What
must happen next if I put this number here?, What is the only possibility here?,
What can’t possibly go here?
Puzzles and games encourage mathematical habits of mind that include: not
giving up, making sure you understand the given information and the goals, being
aware of any assumptions you make, being willing to start over, and generalising
from the original problem. It’s amazing what you can learn, just by playing
Play is the highest form of research. – Albert Einstein
We all know that mathematics is important, hard work, and very serious. BUT…it
can also be a whole lot of fun. Don’t tell anyone, but most mathematicians
will admit that they think of their work as play.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop
playing. – George Bernard Shaw
Not everyone enjoys formal mathematics, but most people I’ve met love to hunt
for patterns and solve puzzles. Thousands of people, from 5-year-olds to
85-year-olds, have taken delight in these puzzles. You might, too, and you
might find yourself hunting for more – see the Resources tab for
suggestions. There’s nothing like the thrill of figuring out something new
to make you feel like a kid!