This is a sponsored post with Mathletics.
My daughter got her report from school back last week. She is doing fine, and we are proud. However, it struck me that I don’t focus on Maths in her school life as much as I do reading. I am sure that this is a result of me being a librarian…books are a love, numbers are not.
I realised we needed to strike a balance, so we went hunting…hunting to find some cool maths for kids, so that we would be able to encourage a love of maths through stuff we did everyday with both of our children….
In the kitchen
Culinary skills may not be your forte, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get maths creative in the kitchen. Get measuring with your kids when they are baking, using this as a great opportunity to learn all about measurements, from ml, grams, to ounces! Get them to use the scales and get really hands on and messy too – go on, relinquish that control, its worth it in the end! KC Adventures has some lovely ideas for using food to learn all about shapes too…get that ruler out and measure the circumference of your Pizza before you actually eat it!
Playing with money
Both of my children get pocket money, and we have discussed on the blog before how important pocket money is for children. Once you give a child money, there are lots of opportunities for teaching them a wee bit of maths:
- Recognising coins
- Counting in tens, and other skip counting
- Working out what change you might get if you spend £2.00 on a Lego figure and you hand over £5.00, etc.
- Number recognition, as little eyes try and see if they can afford to buy said Lego figure
- Adding up your coins to pay the cashier, which in turn encourages a little bit of independence too.
Buggy and Buddy has taken the topic even further and come up with some excellent games to play with coins to encourage learning as well.
There are many toys that are specifically designed to help with maths, but do try and get creative too. We have found great success in using playing cards to create number sentences, with lolly pop sticks to make the number signs from multiplication to addition. The beauty of playing cards is that they have numbers 1 to 9 already so are so simple to work with, and colourful to boot.
It shouldn’t stop there though, what about this wonderful idea from Teach Beside Me to use toys to create Venn Diagrams with your children. Both a simple and beautifully creative way to encourage understanding of one of the more challenging concepts in primary school maths. The children can decide what their sets are, and then see what overlap there is between the two. For example, you could work with two sets, one with cars and the other blue toys. Your overlap within the Venn diagram would then be blue cars.
In the garden
Gardening is a perfect activity now that the weather is actually changing for the better in this wonderful country of ours. You can use measurements in the garden, as well as the kitchen, from working out the distance between your seeds, to counting them out, and dividing them into pots.
Fit Kids Clubhouse is a US site, but this post is brilliant for giving you some excellent ideas on how to turn gardening into a maths fest, from guessing the weight of your compost, to organising your seeds for your vegetable patch.
On the computer
My daughter knows her way around a mouse better than I do, and has been using a PC since she was about three when I discovered it was actually part of her day at nursery. It’s therefore no surprise that she loved the challenges that Mathletics has thrown at her over the last few days. From playing numbers on a virtual number line, to solving problems involving weirdos in lifts….there seems to be something for most little minds on here. The element of competition on the program motivates well too; with a display of top performing schools and students globally. I think that Stuntboy is going to like this bit the most….
Everything I have chatted about there, I have pinned to a lovely board on Pinterest too, so why not check it out, you can even follow it, as I find some other interesting ideas across t’interweb!
In particular, the wonderful Imagination Tree has a whole section on her site, dedicated to playful maths, so please to check it out.
If you would like to find out more about Mathletics too, then visit their site too – the software is designed to fit with the level your child is at, and offers incentives for them to take part, including being able to unlock new games as they progress.
Do you have any cool maths for kids ideas too? If you do, please do share them with me in the comments below. And if we like them, we might pin them too! ;-)