We naturally encourage our children to practice their English skills outside of school; they read, write and talk all the time, sometimes even too much! They all have a grounding in science and technology as well, largely thanks to the internet and the smartphone revolution.
The one life skill that all kids need that we seem to seriously neglect is math. Math is part of our everyday lives as adults, ranging from the small such as calculating the weekly shopping bill to the large of deciding whether we can afford that new car.
Despite its importance in adulthood, we seem to be all too keen to leave our kids exposure to math to a couple of hours a week in the classroom. If we can’t show any enthusiasm about math, then it is little wonder most kids find the subject boring and aren’t interested in it either.
Here are four fun ways to get your kids interested in the joy of mathematics.
Get them involved in working out money
If you’re heading to the toy shop to get your child a new toy, you could tell them how much they are going to be allowed to spend and let them work out what they can get with it. If they want to get something out of their pocket money price range, you can ask them to work out how many weeks they’ll need to save up for it. If you’re doing the food shop, ask them to help you calculate how many of their favorite packs of cookies you can get for a certain amount of money. Math is such a common feature of our everyday lives when it comes to money; it’s hard to find an excuse not to get your kids using it.
Play board games at home
Plenty of board games incorporate math and are a great way of bringing families together. Card games such as Uno feature numbers, in Scrabble your kids will have to calculate their scores, and then there is the ultimate math-linked board game, Monopoly. Just pray that it doesn’t descend into chaos over the cost of rents and mortgages!
The Japanese skill of folding a piece of paper into a three-dimensional shape teaches several math skills while at the same time letting your kids create a piece of art. Many of the folds in origami are symmetrical, meaning that what happens to one side must be balanced out on the other – the basic rule of algebra. Folding paper also allows your kids to make and understand basic geometrical shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles. If you’ve never tried origami, then origamiway.com has advice on how to get started.
Read books featuring maths
There are loads of books out there that get kids thinking about math without them even realizing. Books like ‘The Museum of Mysteries,’ ‘The Cavern of Clues’ and ‘The Planet of Puzzles’ require kids to answer math questions to advance on their quest to save a valuable item. There are even books for younger children to get them involved with math, such as The Hungry Caterpillar. Can your child calculate how much he ate? Clue – it’s a lot.
Talk to me in the comments, please:
What are some fun ways to get your kids interested in maths?