Some have a time limit to complete tasks, much like a game. If the math problems are not completed in time, a buzzer sounds indicating that they are out of time. This raises the competitive level from simply completing tasks to competing for how quickly they can do it, and do it correctly.
The same general idea worked when it came to my son's Lego's! It was a great way to work on patterns and following directions! I would draw a pattern on paper for him to copy and recreate with his Legos. It not only helped with his color recognition, but his problem solving skills, fine motor skills and he didn't even know he was doing math!!
Children naturally love counting and doing puzzles, but for some reason, when you call it "math", all of the interest flies out the window! So how can you cater to this natural love of 'math' and keep it fun and interesting enough to keep children's interest?!
A parent must know what level of math and any other subject, for that matter, that their child is performing at every school year. When children enter kindergarten and the school recommends that children know their ABC's and know how to count to twenty or whatever number, it is the parent's responsibility to make sure the child is prepared prior to enrolling in school.