Introduction to Math Anxiety

Do you get anxious just at the thought of taking a mathematics class? Do you get worried about having to sort out your bill figures? Do have a belief that you don’t have math mind? Do you try to avoid other classes or an activity that involves numbers or mathematics? If anyone or all of the mentioned situations do describe you, chances are that you may suffer from Math Anxiety. This takes us to the question of what is math anxiety?


Math Anxiety is defined as “an emotion that blocks a person’s reasoning ability when
confronted with a mathematical situation” Spicer (2004). Other definition says Math anxiety is a negative emotional reaction to do mathematics or about one’s ability to do mathematics. In other words, it is a feeling of tension and anxiety that normally infers with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of math problems.


Math anxiety has been recorded to affect many students as early as the first grade by affecting their working memory. The importance of working memory cannot be over-emphasized. Working memory is vital when we want to keep track of numbers; it is like a ‘mental scratchpad’. However, this important part of the brain can be interrupted by math anxiety in both high and elementary school students.

The Deficit Theory

The Deficit Theory suggests that people who start out with poor math performance are more likely to develop anxiety about mathematics


Longitudinal studies also suggest that decreased performance in mathematics might be linked to higher maths anxiety in the following school years. Longitudinal studies are studies that follow children over a longer period of their development than most studies hence they provide a detailed development of a particular study area)


The Debilitating Anxiety Model

This model does suggest the link between maths anxiety and math performance that is driven by anxiety’s devastating consequences on recalling or learning maths skills





Math anxiety eats away at your working memory in your brain because the brain is busy worrying about maths rather than doing maths. This then makes mathematics harder than it is real. In a recent study that used brain scanner fMRI, the study showed that maths anxiety had a measurable effect on the function of the brain.

[Young et al., 2012]


The study has shown that math anxiety affects many people in the world and approximately 93% people in America indicated that they experienced some level of math anxiety (Blazer, 2011). Research math anxiety provides some of the strategies that can be used to reduce math anxiety in students such as:

Develop strong skills and a positive attitude toward math. (use of math games)

Use technology in the classroom

Use a variety of assessments.

Monitor children’s math progress.

Knowing how to deal with math anxiety is a first step in preventing it developing in students or in our children. The simple understanding is that when a student sees a math problem the brain interprets it as something dangerous. Brain sees maths as a threat, so activates ‘fight or flight’


According to a study of the function of the brain, it is like an engine which has in idling state’. When the brain is not focusing on a task it remains in the idle state. This idle state turns off when there is a task to do. Now, math anxiety does prevent the idle state to turn off when there is a task (math problem) that is making it very hard to focus on the problem. In this state, the student may feel like they ‘don’t know where to start’ solving the maths problem before them (Pletzer et al., 2015 ).




Ways overcome math anxiety


There are a number of ways you can achieve good math image of which one that has shown working particularly to young children is the use of math games software. I have seen many children who do these games improve their maths and not only improve but enjoy maths. I have provided some of the useful games below and you can invest in your children or students and that will be a good foundation for the rest of their life

Making math game makes it funny hence have a positive experience with working on numbers, engage in maths problems that give them good preparation that ends up improving in math performance.



 It has been found that one of the challenges students face is math anxiety hence need for math anxiety help, particularly to our children.  Math anxiety help focuses on math game new ways of helping children enjoy mathematics as a subject through building confidence using math games.


The exact cause of math anxiety is not known, however other studies have pointed at a number of areas such as:

  • Fear of public embarrassment
  • The pressure caused by time limits during exams
  • Influence of teachers


  • Passive behaviour
  • Lack of confidence
  • A feeling of permanency
  • Unusual nervousness when working on mathematics
  • A feeling of being alone
  • Panic during exams


It is vital to seek math anxiety help if our children have to start enjoying working on maths problems in schools. One of the major ways to prevent maths anxiety is making Math fun. This is a process of making mathematics fun by connecting math with the child’s interests. For example, if your child likes sport then use sport-related word problem. In that way, your child will start building self-confidence and enjoy working on a math problem.


  • Making math fun helps reduce your child’s math anxiety
  • It is about strategy and also basic skills in number.
  • It gives children a practical way of practising math skills

Playing math game can be an effective way of teaching mathematics to children as they learn math skills by means of having fun and massively helps those who struggle.

About Math Games

Your child will benefit a lot when he/she does math game because a math game will involve your child trying to win by using a strategy as the child progress through the game. This is different to a known classroom math activity because math game does support your child individual needs in mathematics. A classroom math activity is something all children do together in class to learn a new skill. While math game your child will figure out how to find the answer hence gaining confidence in working on numbers needed in mathematics.

Math games come in many forms such as video games, card games, computer games. It doesn’t matter what level your child is all math games do require a child to problem-solve and at the same time make a mathematical decision and use different strategies. Effective math games are:

  • Challenging
  • Have rules on how to play
  • Specifically, focus on math skill   

Learning math games

Playing math game involves learning math game that is much more than just learning but having fun. As the child is playing he/she is less likely to worry about making mistakes or failing. This is very helpful in reducing maths anxiety and develop a positive attitude towards mathematics.

Children can test new strategies on how to win the game

Children can learn practical real-life ways of applying math skills

This can also help parents to learn about your child’s strength and weakness without using formal assessment types


If you choose math game that your child can practice area he/she struggles with then you have chosen a good math game.

Cool Math Games

In everyday work, you will be amazed to learn that the skills we use are maths skills. If you take a look at what you do every day most of the work involves maths skills and that can be a starting point to help your child, choose a right game. Cool math games will help your child enjoy maths as well as love the subject

  • Matching games—these games ask a child to keep track of where they had seen objects and patterns. A game like Dominoes helps children practice matching numbers and sets, numbers from 1 to maximum of 6   
  • Board games—these games help children match set of dots on a dice in order to correct a number of spaces to move. Example of such game is a candy Land game  
  • Spatial strategy games—this game asks children to come up with ways to move pieces in order to block or capture pieces.  Examples of such games are chess, connect Four, Battlefield  
  • Resource-management games—these games help kids think how much resources or money they have acquired and how to use them.  Such type of games are Monopoly or Carcassone.
  • Mystery game—This game asks children to keep information in mind to use as a way of narrowing down to the answer that is correct. Example: guess how or 20 questions
  • Numerical strategy games—these games ask children to re-arrange pieces to win the game or it also asks children to remove or get rid of pieces to win. Examples are Uno and trash,mancala and card game

These games are not only for children, parents can also start playing these games with children and move to more advanced games thereby encouraging your child to enjoy math games thereby building confidence in dealing with math problems.

Prices for some of the games

Mancala £10

Connect Four £13.92

Monopoly £12.10

Chess £24.99


1          Title

Maths Bingo      rating 4.9 out of 5 (customer reviews)

Price: £5.23


Math Games–You are now being introduced to math games.


This software will teach your child by playing games wills all numbers to learn how to add, multiply, divide and subtract. The program sets questions depending on your choice and also depending on the level of your child. This program has a clock that ticks however for a start it may be of use to ignore the tick as no to put pressure on the child


Maths bingo is designed in a way that will make fun for your child and your child will like it. It is colourful and it has a good collection of weird bug aliens to make maths game more exciting to children. This math bingo game can even make children who are reluctant to mathematics have a go at multiplication. Children love to win the Bingo Bugs and children can then use them in a Bingo Bug Bungie. This is a pinball game like where someone fires a collecting bug in order to knock out coins to beat the high score.


Math Bingo also contains two new games which can be played when a child completes a Bingo board namely Math Stack and Math Fling


I would recommend to BUY NOW before the price goes up and let your child start enjoying maths

2        Title

                                                                                           TRANSITION MATH K-1

Price: DVD ROM £18.60


Transition Math K-1 merges the learning and fun for your child hence motivating the child. This is done through a series of workbook-style exercise on the computer and also can be done on printed companion workbook that is included in the package


This math software is for children who are making a transition from preschool to kinder garden


The game has bright graphics that help to draw children into the game that is filled with solid drills and exercises. The game empowers children to correct their mistakes that improve their learning skills expected in schools


The game includes virtual workbook pages that feature fundamentals of mathematics as telling time, shapes, counting necessary for children who are making a transition from preschool maths concept to school maths. The game helps your child to develop skills in sequencing, counting, relating numbers to number words, patterning, grouping items and telling the time.


I would recommend for your child and adults too hence buying this game is a good choice

3 Math Missions With Card Game

Customer rating 3.8 out of 5


This math mission with card game helps every child even those who are reluctant to do mathematics to play the game and eventually improve their maths skills


This is a pack of maths activities that will inspire your child and enjoy doing maths. It has got three levels of play that is automatically adjusted to your child’s progress. It has 12 fun activities ranging from sorting toys at the store to working on a skyscraper

It contains thousands of math challenges where kids can use their subtraction or adding skills to catch the ferry, subway or the bus than try to gain more money for their favourite games

The game has multiple tips and hints to support or help the child when he/she is tuck


Unlike many math games, this game has levels that help to see that your child is making progress. Having fun activities add value to the game as children like fun activity excerpt


I would not delay to recommend it for your child as it will enhance the child’s interest in mathematics

Math Games Software

Math Games software is organised in topic and grades to help your child progress from one stage to the other while having more fun. Kids math worksheets offer plentiful printable math worksheets and online quizzes for children and parents.

This is a free game


Ever heard of end-user software others call it application software. There are many on the market but not all software is good for the purpose. Invest in children is the right thing a parent can give to a child. Depending on what we want to achieve choosing the right software will give us a piece of mind because they will enable you to complete your task. Each software is specific to the task it was developed for and it can be simple like adding on a calculator or complex as word processing.


Depending on how you want to invest in your child, learning software for kids is the right software that can help your child build a long lasting excellent foundation for mathematics. This site will look at maths software for children to help your kid love mathematics and eventually improve maths grades.




One of the core requirements of any buying software is the ability to have tops software review to understand the benefits of the software as well as grasp new technologies and use them to their full potential.

Math anxiety is a condition that you have power to change because this is a learned behaviour. Some of the simple ways that may help you to overcome it are

Do math every day

Get organized

Study smart

Utilise your resources

Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

Prices differ

candy land games

If you want to start practising math today? then start with simple things and move upward from there.


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26 thoughts on “Math-Anxiety

  • i like your site on math game keep it up very informative

    1. thank you for your comment-great stuff

  • Thank you for all these items which I know will be of use to my own children. I have 2 girls who both like maths but they are a little behind the others in their class so I’m always trying to find things to engage them and teach them too. I will look into some of the ones you mention as I’m sure they will like them. Thanks again.

    1. You are welcome, i use to my children too, great results

  • This is very enlightening information. Some great methodologies here to spark children’s interest in learning mathematics. I’ve spent some time studying Vortex Based Mathematics. A fascinating subject. Once children get a grasp on their basic math skills this may be something they could have a lot of fun learning about. Adults as well.


    1. Yes Brad–once the children get the grasp on basic mathematics the skill lasts for a life-time. Thanks again as you have mentioned adults can benefit alot from math games eg doing connect four, Dominoes then you build-up from there. Thank you for the website very helpful indeed

  • I got good tips about Math anxiety.
    I have a question.
    I don’t want my children to play a game on the electronic devices.
    Can you introduce some good board games to me?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Eli
      Thank you for your excellent question. If you don’t want your children to play on the electronic device that’s fine there are many board math games. If you go down my post you will see games such as dominoes, connect four, chess these games you can do exactly that. I have provided links on my post where you can find them.

  • Thanks. Great info. I think my daughter suffered from math anxiety. This should be very helpful.

    1. Brad
      you are welcome. She can benefit a lot from doing these math games they are very helpful indeed. My children started when they were young everyone has had great grades A* or A. There are links on my post for some of math games

  • Mr. Progress says:

    Wow, I have never thought of anxiety for math questions in this way. Really clear and detailed article, and very extensive. Interesting read, thanks!

    1. Mr Progress,
      Thank you for your comments

  • Such a great site which I’ll be using to assit my daughter with her maths anxiety.
    Brilliant tips! Thank you

    1. you are welcome Vince

  • Great read!
    I think I might have had maths anxiety back when I was going to school :).

    1. many people had and it is important now to help our children enjoy maths–thank you for your comment

  • Ramandeep says:

    This is a wonderful article, I never knew that math anxiety existed too, I wish I knew this when I was younger. But atleast I save on my child’s memory if she reacts to it in the same way. I always had math anxiety but when I grew up it changed when my tutor made it so easy for me by just the way he taught and I started loving maths. A teacher too makes a lot of difference. Thank you for sharing this article.

    1. Hi Ramandeep
      that is true a teacher does play a critical role as well but unfortunately it is not always that we have a teacher that makes maths fun and math game can support that as well. Thank you for your wonderful comment

  • Very interesting, informative, and helpful information about math anxiety. I, fortunately never had this problem, but I know many people that are intimidated by math, and have resulting anxieties. I will have to tell them about this article. I’m sure it will help them immensely. Well done.

    1. Hi Tom,
      That is true many people find this information useful and I had tried myself and it helps a lot
      That will be great if you can forward it to your friends on your netwrok so that many children can be helped as well
      Thank you for the comments

  • I never knew this was an issue until just now. Being naturally good at math, I guess I take it for granted that there are people out there who aren’t as much of a fan. Still if anything, I think it’s good that you brought an issue like this up because how else would we ever come up with a solution? Take me for example, I didn’t even know it existed there’s probably a lot of other people out there too who would love to fix it.

    1. Hi –thank you for your comment.I have heard many people say like that as well but maths anxiety is real , forward the post to whoever you think can benefit from this information so that the young generation should be math anxiety free

  • hi-this is good I was looking for such type of information, you are a great man. will visit your page many times to learn more

    1. Mark
      thank you for your comment, you are welcome to visit the site

  • Eye sees math, Brain thinks tiger 😀

    Math games are a great way for kids to improve their math skill. I remember playing them at school and then after school we would play them again because they were so fun!

    Thanks for the great tips,

    1. Hi Jake
      you are welcome
      indeed I benefitted from Math games as well it helped me to love mathematics and I did enjoy mathematics all my school days and I got a scholarship because of being an extraordinary student in maths so I hope if kids today do likewise many kids can benefit from it

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