If your child needs help with math—and finds it hard to add, subtract or multiply on a piece of paper—movement might be the answer. After all, sitting down for too long can become boring. As another strategy, you can capitalize on what your child already finds fun, slipping in math elements.
To get you started, here are two movement-related activities and two modified games.
We Are Teachers’ website shares thirty math games to get the blood pumping, and you can use these ideas at home, too. For example, using sidewalk chalk, make a numbers grid with randomly placed numbers. Then, either call out a math problem or show a flashcard and encourage your child to jump on the square with the right answer. If two or more children can play, make it a race!
Math Games For Older Students Can Be Fun
When going on a nature walk, challenge your child to keep track of certain items. How many robins do they see? Daffodils? Vary your quest by the season, and make sure that each numbers-related challenge is fun, doable, and developmentally and age-appropriate.
KidsActivitiesBlog.com offers another intriguing idea. If your child enjoys playing with Legos, use them to demonstrate place values. Blue Legos could be worth one hundred; red ones, ten; and yellow ones, one—or whatever other system you want to devise. You could also assign place values based on the size or shape of the Lego block. Next, have your children build with the Legos and then calculate what the structure is “worth.”
You can also modify board games to add a math component. For example, ProdigyGame.com suggests that you play Math Bingo. Use standard bingo cards and pull numbers like you normally would. Now, let’s say that you need to call out I-39. Instead of saying “39,” you could say thirty-four plus five—or thirteen times three. Choose how you call numbers based on a child’s current understanding of math, and then try to push them a bit to further their skills.
Why Math Games Help
According to MindResearch.org, when you devise activities that use both mind and body, they help the brain retain that knowledge. Plus, when children participate in activities they consider fun, they can forget all about “learning” math—while doing exactly that.
Add Math to Daily Activities
Parents can also seamlessly weave in math techniques throughout the day. For example, PBS.org suggests, that you create a family weather chart. Younger children can draw pictures while elementary school-aged ones can research predicted temperatures. How much warmer (or colder) is Tuesday when compared to Thursday this week? Find a resource that lists typical temperatures for that day (such as this one by the National Weather Service). How does today compare to the average for your city?
You can do something similar by creating maps of where you plan to go as a family. How many miles away is the grocery store? Grandma’s house? Your family’s favorite park?
As you find games and at-home activities that build math skills for your child, keep enhancing them by incrementally increasing the challenges involved to keep them learning without becoming frustrated.
Horizon Education Centers
Finally, at Horizon Education Centers, we incorporate STEM activities into our childcare for elementary school-aged children as well as our summer camp.
Horizon staff members ensure our curriculum aligns with state standards and individual learning objectives. They also provide periodical evaluations for improved growth and development. And each of our facilities has received a high rating from the State of Ohio's "Step Up To Quality" program.
If you have any questions about how Horizon Education Centers can enhance your child’s educational experience, please feel free to contact us at any time.