The Association Between Playful Learning at Home and School and the Development of Number Sense

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




This study examined the influence playful learning has on the acquisition of mathematical skills related to number sense. Twelve students from a rural kindergarten and their families participated. In school, the children engaged in a play-based learning environment that integrated mathematical skills over a six week period. In the play-based experience students could take on the role of a clerk or a customer in a pretend shoe store. The participants were pre and post tested in number identification, missing number, and quantity discrimination using a standardized tool. Parents were asked to fill out a survey inquiring about mathematical play at home. Children who had experienced fewer playful math experiences at home showed the most growth in number identification across the school year. Further, children with the greatest growth in number identification were more likely to take on the more mathematically challenging role of clerk in the pretend play scenario. Overall, all participants increased their math skills in all three skills measured within this six week period.


Affiliation: Stevens Brook Elementary School