The subject my daughter least enjoys in our home schooling curriculum is math. Whilst she is quite competent for her age, math is the subject that holds her attention the least. As a way of ensuring that her home schooling days remain interesting, I’ve had to look at a variety of math activities to help with her math curriculum.
As a home schooling parent I prefer to find activities that utilise items that are available in our home. The following math activities are just some of the ones we enjoy playing.
Make your own estimation math activities using building blocks, marbles, a water jug or pegs. The type of math activities for estimation is endless.
Pose questions such as:
- How many blocks can you stack before they fall?
- How many marbles will it take to fill the jar?
- How many cups of water will it take to fill the jug?
- How many pegs will go around a sheet of paper?
Write down your child’s estimations, and then get them to check their estimations by completing each task.
To extend this math activity, have your child think of their own estimation tasks.
Most households will have a set of kitchen or bathroom scales and very few children don’t take some interest in weighing things. Choose cups, vegetables, cutlery or even members of your family.
Have your child write down or draw each item and then note the weight of the items. Discuss which item was heavier or lighter. Sort them into order of weight. Use this math activity in conjunction with the previous estimation activity for a double take of math.
Odds & Evens
Odds & Evens math activities have been around for a long time and may go by a few different names. Get together two or more people and have each person clench one hand into a fist. Together all players count to three and on three each person extends either one or two fingers. With each turn choose one player as a caller who will say either “odds” or “evens”.
Count the fingers being held out. If the calling player guesses correctly they score a point and have another turn at calling. If incorrect, the next player has a turn at guessing. Before starting choose a finishing point or time.
Why not use those multitudes of advertising catalogues that are placed in letterboxes and create some math activities around budgeting money.
Choose an amount of pretend budget money for your child to be allocated. The value will need to depend upon their age. For younger students maybe $20, for older years perhaps $1,000. Choose catalogues appropriate to their budget.
Younger children could pretend they have to cater a birthday party or choose Christmas presents for the family. Older children could pretend they are going to do a bedroom make-over. Have them cut out each item, calculate their total expenditure & change (if applicable).
Why not incorporate a little nature when teaching graphs to your child. Take a walk with your child into the outdoors and collect a selection of leaves of different shapes and sizes.
Help you child to sort the leaves into categories – colour, size, shape, texture, type etc. Design a simple graph by drawing the shape of each leaf type and seeing which one is more common.
There are plenty of math activities that incorporate addition, but these two activities add a little fun.
The first one is called marble bowls. Cut arch’s from the bottom of a cereal box and above each arch write a number. For younger children keep to numbers 1 – 5. Mark a spot on the floor for the players to roll from. Each person takes turns to roll 6 marbles towards the box. If a marble goes thru an arch, the player earns that number of points. Have each player add up their score.
For another math activity use old empty toilet rolls or cut down paper towel rolls and make a ten-pin bowling game. Have your child decorate ten cardboard rolls as pins and then number each roll from 1 to 10. Set the “pins” up in a triangular pattern with only one pin at the front. Choose a distance across the floor as the rolling lane and mark it with a piece of rope or ruler. Use a tennis ball or something similar to roll towards the pins. Have your child add up the number of pins knocked down and keep a running tally. This is a great math activity for a rainy winter day. Your kids will have fun not only playing the game, but decorating the “pins” at the start.
There are plenty of math activities available to assist your child with their math curriculum. Use these math activities as a start and encourage your child to make up their own. Math can be fun, sometimes the delivery just needs to be altered.