Math Can Be Fun!
Math can be fun and is used every day. Here are some things you can do at home to bring math to life.
Use Everyday Objects
You already have everything you need to teach math to your child. Buttons, pennies, money, books, fruit, soup cans, trees, cars -- you can't count the number of objects you have available. Math is easy to teach when you look at all of the physical objects you can count, add, subtract and multiply. Everyday objects also help you teach your child that objects don't have to be identical to be important in math. Counting apples is a great math lesson, but counting apples, oranges and watermelons together expands her thought process. She's connecting counting with various objects instead of running through a routine numbers game of 1, 2, 3.
Play Math Games
There are plenty of games on the market that promise to aid you in teaching math. Hi Ho Cherry-O and adding dice teach simple addition. Chutes and Ladders introduces children to the numbers 1 to 100. Advanced math board games come and go so check stores for today's hot games. Classics like Yahtzee, PayDay, Life and Monopoly are always good resources for addition and subtraction.
Soft cookies make excellent teaching tools. While you can count the cookies you bake for simple math, a fresh batch is also perfect for teaching fractions. With a plastic knife, kids can learn how to cut a cookie into eighths, fourths and halves. The act of visually seeing a fourth created as well as them getting to cut that whole into fourths makes an impression in a child's mind.
Use those small cookie pieces to teach her how to add and subtract fractions. For example, 1/4 of a cookie + 1/4 of a cookie = 1/2 of a cookie. Put the pieces together for her to see the cookie half.
Make Math a Daily Activity
We use math every day. Help your child get the most out of your math lessons when you incorporate it into your daily life.
At a red light, how many blue cars do you see?
At the grocery store, how many boxes of crackers could we buy if we only have $10?
At the doctor's office, how many kids will be left in the waiting room when three are called to the back?
If we only ate 1/4 of our lunch, how much would we have left?
How much will diapers cost if they're 25% off?
On the freeway, how much do the numbers on the license plate in front of us add up to?
How many shirts are you putting into the washing machine?
If you need to divide eight quarters among four people at the arcade, how many quarters would each person get?