My daughter won’t be learning about fractions in school this year. However, it’s not too early to start introducing her to the vocabulary. As an upper grade teacher, I saw many students struggle to understand what a fraction meant. In other words, they lacked an awareness about fractions. Interestingly enough, fractions are all around us. From recipes to sharing, we are often engaging with parts and wholes of numbers. Thus, why not allow your children and/or your students to experience math in its natural state? Here are some fun, real world fraction activities for kids.
Create a “Fraction” Meal
Give your child plenty of healthy choices for dinner. Then, give them a paper plate divided up into fractions. For children who are just learning about fractions, you might want to divide it into fourths. For older children, you can do different denominators so they can see if fractions are equivalent or not. Have your child fill up their plate with different items on each section. Then, talk about what fraction each food group represents. Ask questions such as which food covers the largest amount (and the smallest) on the plate? Of course, you can always make a fraction pizza and put each family member’s favorite topping on a certain fraction of the pie.
While teaching 4th grade, I used to have my students make fraction gardens on paper. Then, I thought it would be nice for a child to actually make their fraction garden. To do so, first, purchase a wood planter or find an empty spot in your garden. Then, have your child decide how to divide the garden. Do they want their garden to be ⅔ carrots and ⅓ tomatoes or do they want to devote the garden to four different crops (1/4 of each one)? Afterwards, plant your seeds and watch your fraction garden grow!
Pick up some pony beads in various colors, online or at a local craft store. Then give your child a lace or leather string and have them make a color-block necklace. You can let them make the necklace first and then see what fraction each color represents; or you can challenge them to divide the necklace into eighths. In other words, each color would make up ⅛ of the necklace. The fraction possibilities are endless.
Purchase a variety box of popsicles. There should be several different flavors. Next, ask children to find out what fraction of the package is, for example, lemon. This is a great lesson for teaching about the numerator and the denominator. First, have children count up how many popsicles there are all together; this is the denominator. Then, have them count up how many popsicles there are of an individual flavor; this is the numerator. Of course, at the end of the lesson, kids will love eating the popsicles.
These real world fraction activities are a fun way to learn some new math concepts.
More from Melissa:
Fun Pumpkin Seed Math Activities for Kids
Teaching Tips: Using Picture Books to Teach Figurative Language
Tips for Having Effective Math Groups in Elementary School