Today, I’m sharing some easy ways to make math exciting in your home and take it from the textbook to real life with these fun math activities.
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1. Create a graph. Grab some graph paper or draw some columns on a piece of paper. Use the graph to record the number of different colors of M&Ms in a bag, kinds of birds at the bird feeder or the number of boys and girls at the pool. Graphing helps kids see the numbers concretely in an organized form they can compare and study.
2. Use manipulatives. This is another way for kids to see numbers. Showing young children the number 6 doesn’t always mean much. Show them 6 counting bears and it makes sense to them. Use legos or blocks to get the concept of fractions. (Like these fun lego fraction games.) Let the kids use manipulatives when learning their math functions. Make math fun.
4. Bake cookies. My daughter is awesome at fractions. She can manipulate them, reduce them, add them, multiply them. We really didn’t even have to go over them much in her math curriculum. Why? I’m convinced it’s because she has been cooking with me since she was 3 or 4. I always let her play with the measuring cups and taught her how to double or half recipes. It comes natural to her now.
5. Play store. Our kids created a store in my son’s room a few years back. They had all their craft creations displayed with price tags. They invited my husband and I to the store to purchase their treasures. We used the opportunity to teach them to count money and make change.
6. Play Yahtzee. Filling out the top of the Yahtzee score sheet is great for learning those first multiplication facts. Totaling up the score sheets help kids with their addition.
7. Play cards. Card games help with number recognition, counting, sequencing and patterns.
8. Buy carpet. My husband is a builder, so when we were studying area, I sent my daughter to work with my husband. She helped him measure rooms for carpet and figure out the amount of carpet each room needed in square feet. It was a great, hands-on way to teach the concept of area. You don’t have to buy new carpet. Just grab a tape measure and have your kids measure your rooms as though you might.
9. Record the temperature. Over the next week or two, record the temperature at the same time everyday. At the end of your recording period, plot your observations on a graph and discuss the trend. This can be really interesting if you live where there can be a large temperature swing at certain times of year. An indoor/outdoor thermometer can be a great tool to check the temperatures without having to brave the elements…like in January here in Illinois. Brrrrr!
10. A shape hunt. Math for young learners starts with shapes and patterns. Go on a shape hunt around your house. First, have them look for circles, then squares or triangles. If they need help, cut out a shape and let them carry it with them. Cheer them on! Here is a Geometry Scavenger Hunt complete with FREE printables.