Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Editorial Team

When children learn all about number sense, they are capable of employing their knowledge in activities like Subitizing, or Estimation^{[1]}. However, they may find estimating answers to mathematical questions a bit confusing. They can clear their confusion with the gamification of the concept. Smart teaching solutions, that is why include estimation games to acquaint early learners with the art of guessing. Games for estimation can help open the minds to the idea of calculating and be instrumental in improving mental math. These games help kids relate to common estimation examples and ease the estimation learning process for both the students and the teachers.

**How can estimation be explained in** **an easier way?**

Estimation becomes more helpful when the operations involve numbers that do not end in **5s or 0s**. This means it is easy to find what 10×20 will yield rather than calculating 14×28.

The easiest trick to explain estimation is to round the number to the nearest number ending in zero.

In the example, 14 x 28 = ?; 14 can be rounded down to 10, and 28 can be rounded up to 30.

Accordingly, the students can be guided to estimate the answer to be somewhere closer to 300.

This is how estimation rules are developed and taught to early learners or beginners. The example taken here uses the Closest-Ten strategy or rounding. Let’s take a look at other commonly used estimation strategies.

**Various estimation strategies you must know about**

Strategies of estimation prove to be useful to solve problems based on this concept rather quickly.

The main purpose of choosing a strategy is to quicken the calculation and find the answer closest to the exact one.

Some of the most used estimation strategies are:

- Closest-ten strategy or rounding strategy
- Front-end strategy
- Cluster estimation strategy

While the Closest-Ten strategy mentioned above is quite popular, it needs to be modified when the digits are more than 2. If the numbers to perform an operation are three-digit or four-digit, one can employ the Front-End strategy.

In the front-end strategy, the users keep the first digit as such and convert all other digits to zero. It is mostly used when the operations are binomial addition or subtraction. For example, 32+46 can be approximated as 30+40 = 70. So, the answer will be somewhere near 70.

But, what to do when a math sum involves three-digit numbers and multiple numbers are to be added? Front-end strategy may provide an answer which is not close to exact. Here, the cluster estimation strategy works. Let’s take this example:

312+320+342+292+296 = ?

Here, we can see that the number closest to all these will be 300. So, we speed up the calculation by converting all numbers to 300. Since there are 5 numbers involved, we can do 300*5 = 1500. One can safely estimate the sum to be closer to 1500 using cluster estimation in this example.

Interestingly, the estimation games designed for early learners are based on one or multiple of these strategies. So, **let’s take a look at some online games that teach and assess the application of estimation skills in all basic math operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, finding proportion, counting to 10 or 100, etc.**

**8 Engaging online estimation games**

**1. Multiply Estimation**

A number line is provided to record the answer by hovering on it and clicking on the number of your choice. The quiz appears at the top. This multiplication estimation game is designed for kindergarteners and first graders. Those who want to improve their hand-eye coordination and motor skills can benefit a lot from this game.

Playing it requires using various abilities such as thinking, counting, and maneuvering to get the correct answer. So, learning estimation by playing this game can benefit your ward in multiple ways. You may find improved levels of proficiency in mental maths in your child by giving him ample practice by playing this game.

Game Link: Web App

**2. Estimate Sums**

Estimating sums help in numerous daily life activities such as shopping, time management, etc. This estimation game for learning sums makes it easy for learners to find the approximate value by employing mental math. The learners are given instances that they come across daily that help them appreciate the practical learning achieved. This game allows you to pick from levels 1 to 4.

Once you become comfortable with the initial levels and feel confident to move to complex problems, you can move to higher levels. Instant thinking and correct guessing along with numerous math operations like mental addition or subtraction become more refined with the regular playing of this game.

Game Link: Web App

**3. Estimating – Sums, Differences, Quotients, and Products**

How about choosing a game that offers all possible options pertaining to estimation? Since it is quite evident that estimation is not restricted only to guessing the sum of two numbers only, the learners must have a resource that covers all other mathematical operations. This Estimating game provides just that to the learners.

The players can pick the profile and also the level of the game. Level 1 is dedicated to 2-digit calculations and level 2 is for 3-digit ones. So, you can use this game to attain proficiency by practicing all types of estimating problems. This game for estimating sum, difference, product, and quotient is suitable for early learners and can keep the students of higher studies equally engaged.

Game Link: Web App

**4. Estimate Percent of Numbers**

Finding percentages is the mathematical operation children learn at primary and middle levels of education. With the use of technology in education, this activity can be mastered by playing games like Estimate percent of numbers. The beauty of this game is that it gives the hint about which strategy to use to work out the answer. Thus, homeschoolers or self-learners can find this game quite helpful in achieving their academic endeavors.

Students get three levels to play. In the first level, the estimation strategy of rounding to the nearest ten is employed for designing the questions. Apart from learning about the estimation of percent of numbers, the game also provides a learning resource for mastering the conversion of percentages into fractions. This game is truly a promising tool for improving mental math, estimating abilities, and acquiring other skills involving percentages.

Game Link: Web App

**5. Guess It!**

Do your kids display problems with numbers but comfort with figures? This discomfort can come no way in their path of learning estimation. Guess It! is one of the most interesting games for learning estimation designed for kids. We have mentioned in our post on subitizing that this skill requires guessing the number from a very small set comprising of not more than five elements.

This estimation game takes charge from there and increases the challenge by introducing more dots. To further increase the difficulty, multiple color dots are also included in some of the quizzes. Quickness in guessing numbers is required too, as the picture remains on for a limited time on the screen. Thus, this game can enhance memory retention apart from guessing ability and shapes the child’s mental capabilities appropriately.

Game Link: Web App

**6. Fun Estimation Math Game**

Learning round to the nearest 10 can be quite exciting! This game for estimation learning is designed for kindergarteners who have been just introduced to the strategy of rounding to the nearest 10. Every level has something basic to teach to the child and there is a little element of challenge as the timer compels them to think fast and pick the right answer.

This estimation game for kindergarteners improves thinking ability, cognition flexibility, and visual discrimination as well. So, your growing kids get an all-around boost in reasoning capabilities of various kinds. Designed in accordance with core education standards, this game offers a happening learning resource to enhance your guessing skills.

Game Link: Web App

**7. Estimate Using Proportion**

Guessing proportion is an essential skill that helps a lot in adult life. When you are sizing up or down the recipe, you have to use proportionate amounts. Similarly, selecting a T-shirt according to varying heights is another application of proportion estimation skills.

This game for guessing proportions is full of word problems. So, as a 7th or 8th grader, you find it amply challenging as well as engaging. The main advantages you can enjoy with this estimation of proportions game are improved reading skills, a better comprehension of information, refined mental math, and quickness in reasoning.

Game Link: Web App

**8. Estimation Genius 2**

Help kids turn into estimation experts by playing this simple yet challenging online game. We call this game challenging because players only have nine seconds to see and estimate the number of characters appearing on the screen. Once the time is up, the images disappear, so kids must rely on their visual memory to make the estimation. Or they must be quick enough to complete the ordeal in just nine seconds.

When done, players can use the online keypad to tap in their answers and see if they were right. Scores are reflected at the top, so players can see how well they are performing and feel motivated to do better. They can even refresh the challenge as many times as they would like to polish their estimation skills.

Game Link: Web App

** To sum up,**

Learning estimation becomes more retentive when done with games. Though keeping the learners from getting distracted by the games’ elements like colors or graphics can be a challenge, with correct strategy and guidance, the learners can achieve their skill enhancement objectives in a more ingrained manner.

Reference

- Thomsen, Brian M., “Strength in Numbers: How Computational Estimation Impacts Mathematics Achievement of High School Students With and Without Disabilities” (2017). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 669. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/oa_diss/669

An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,