An Abacus is a wooden frame with a series of sticks (horizontal or vertical) that have 10 beads on each layer. The colorful beads are used to teach children counting. The aim is to improve mental calculations like addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication, which are the basis of learning Math. Abacus was first used during Babylonian times in 2,400 B.C. by African and Asian traders to help them with counting large numbers. Through Abacus, children develop lifelong skills that would help them with cognitive development.
Math as a subject is stressful for kids, so much so that they avoid studying it at any cost. So how can educators get children to focus and become friends with numbers? Thanks to platforms like Mathletics, institutes now have a dedicated program that introduces fun math lessons, alongside tracking results and formulating interesting teaching aids. Mathletics is available in the Middle East region, including Dubai and GCC.
An abacus is another popular tool used to teach math by manipulating the beads and moving them across the stick which needs high levels of concentration by the participant.
Enlisted below are a few advantages of using an Abacus
Essentially, good eye-hand coordination is involved in navigating the beads up and down or side-wards, in an orderly manner to solve a difficult math calculation effectively. After sufficient practice, there will be a point where the child will not even need a physical abacus device but will perform the calculation in their head. Slowly and gradually, he will get the confidence to solve large numeric problems by the method of visualization, without the need to use a device or pen & paper.
Enhances Speed of Calculation
Studies have shown that children who are trained to use an abacus are able to produce the correct answer in a shorter span of time, rather than those who have never tried working with one. When students use their right fingers to move the beads, the left side of their brain sensors gets activated, and when the left hand is used, the right brain gets active. This stimulation enables one to perform calculations faster and improve their memory. Your child will soon be a human calculator, capable of solving sums faster than a scientific calculator.
Problem-solving requires the child to be creative. Using an abacus prepares children to solve problems with a cool & calm sense of mind and apply creative techniques, rather than panicking. Just like you would enroll your kiddo into dance class or music class to boost his confidence and creativity, the abacus is another such after-class program that helps improve creativity and also sharpen math skills. Since the beads are colorful, it excites students to experiment with equations and motivates them to take up more challenging calculations, rather than shying away.
Focuses on Logical Thinking
Capabilities Have you decided what your next move is going to be? Which bead needs to move where? The child now has to apply logic and reasoning. This comes with practice, and using appropriate techniques to solve different kinds of problems, is an art that one masters over time. Solving fractions, decimals, and integers becomes seamless by applying simple logic
According to research, it is found that working with an abacus improves mental health by reducing the effects of stress. Since it has a game-like approach vs. studying out of a textbook, learners are more likely to create a positive association with the abacus, rather than resisting opening a book to study. Abacus training reduces anxiety and students become almost 30% less likely to get nervous about an upcoming exam.
The movement of beads requires some level of physical dexterity and a good tripod grip. This enhances your little one’s pincer movements and the wrist supports in moving the beads across the rod, thereby developing fine & gross motor skills. When small muscles are worked upon, everyday activities like buttoning a t-shirt, holding a crayon, threading a string, etc. becomes easier. Since the beads are of different colors, one also learns to identify the names of colors, which improves their sensory skills.
Now that you know the advantages of an abacus set, why not be a Secret Santa and present it to your little one as a gift this Christmas Season? The abacus set is readily available in UAE in any toy shop or you can order it online from Amazon.