My daughter is almost finished with her first year in grade school. So far, she really enjoys it. By making math fun at home, I hope she continues to like school. As a credentialed teacher, I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to make learning amusing. Here are some tips on how to show your grade-schooler that math is fun.
Math on a piece of paper can be really boring. Although grade-school students will likely have worksheets and fill-in-the bubble tests, they don’t have to learn math concepts in the same manner. When kids are learning to add and subtract, parents can give them little plastic bears or even dried beans to help them solve math problems. In my experience, fractions are very hard to teach without manipulatives. Giving kids fraction bars can help them see the relationship between a part and a whole.
For kids who are sick of doing flash cards, I think games like multiplication bingo are a fun alternative. All you have to do is write out times table answers on bingo cards made from card stock. Then write multiplication problems on index cards and put them into a jar. Next, pick a card, call the problem out and your child/ren can cover up the correct answer if they see it on their card. Furthermore, while I was teaching, I used to use the games out of this reproducible math games book. You can also have kids make their own board games to use with a variety of concepts.
I have found that incorporating art into math is a great way for kids (especially artistic ones) to connect with math. For geometry, you can have kids cut out different “regular” polygons (triangles, pentagons, hexagons, octagons, etc) and make a picture with them. Kids can also take part in symmetry art where they cut out a picture of a symmetrical creature (such as a butterfly or ladybug). Next, they should cut the picture in half, glue it to a piece of paper and draw the other half.
Investigative math is a creative way to introduce concepts such as measurement, circumference and perimeter and area. After all, when looking at milk containers, it’s quite easy to see the difference between a pint and a quart. For investigative math, parents must pose a question. For instance, which is a better unit to measure how much liquid is in a bathtub that is halfway full? If you give a child a choice between a cup and a gallon, they will quickly be able to investigate which one is easier for filling up a bathtub (with supervision, of course).
Before you know it, your child will realize that math is fun!
More from Melissa:
Engaging Activities to Teach Kids About Classifying Triangles
Fun Real World Fraction Activities for Kids
Fun Fact and Opinion Activities for Kids