Research suggests that educational games may be particularly useful for helping children learn STEM concepts; however, the mechanisms involved in game-based learning are not well understood. The present study tested the hypothesis that games are effective because they provide a supportive learning context that allows children to react adaptively to errors. Children (M age 7 yrs, 6 mo) were given two half-hour learning sessions in which they solved nontraditional arithmetic problems (e.g., __ = 3 + 4) in game and formal contexts. In a third session, children were given a transfer test in which they solved mathematical equivalence problems (e.g., 1 + 5 = __ + 2). Children who committed more of their learning errors in the game context solved a greater number of problems correctly on the transfer test than did children who made more of their errors in the formal context. Moreover, children reacted less negatively to errors made in the game context than in the formal context. These findings suggest that educational games may be an effective learning tool because they provide a supportive context that allows children to learn from errors.