Money provides a perfect, authentic opportunity to explore mathematics. Not only does each coin and bill have an assigned value, currency also makes a great math manipulative for sorting, counting, comparing, measuring, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and eventually using fractions, decimals, percentages, and more.
We’re delighted to welcome Amy Hengerer, founder of Creative Kid Mission, where she shares budget-friendly crafts, games activities, science projects, books, music, field trip and even snack ideas based on weekly themes. Amy not only shares her learning philosophy but two fun math activities she developed just for Add It Up readers.
We’re pleased to present Danielle Woods, one of the Education.com founders, as our first guest in the 5 Thoughts about Math series. In the coming months we’ll feature additional exciting guests sharing their thoughts about math and raising young mathematicians.
My son’s preschool teacher joked that parents should procure LEGOs at any cost-even if it meant taking out a second mortgage-because those little bricks are like nothing else when it comes to helping kids to develop strong math skills. Recent studies bear out what that preschool teacher already knew – spatial skills can be an early predictor of creative potential in STEM fields, particularly in math.
Around my house, “Can we order pizza?” is a common request. If your kids enjoy pizza, they’ll devour pizza math. When it comes to building math vocabulary and an understanding of fractions, this activity is quite filling.
“Mom, this toy broke, can you buy me a new one?” “Dad, I really want this new game, will you buy it for me?” Sound familiar?
Think of these questions as mathematics learning opportunities. They open to door to discussions about the value of money. Finding real-world applications is one of the easiest ways to get kids excited about learning and it does not get more authentic than earning and saving money.
Backyard treasure hunts were one of my favorite summer math activities when my kids were young. They’re pretty simple to carry out, but do require a bit of advance planning on your part, especially if you want to create clues geared to the interests and abilities specific to each child (like the daily Bedtime Math problems Wee Ones, Little Kids and Big Kids). A good treasure hunt leads to hours of engaging play not to mention early training in spatial skills and a lot of laughs.
Riding in a car with a toddler often requires a lot of patience. Even brief trips can be full of many questions and sometimes tantrums. But with a bit of creativity, imagination, and silliness, you can turn car rides into a lot of fun and even create math learning opportunities.We began doing on-the-go math when our oldest daughter (now 7) was a toddler and now her younger brother enjoys it as much as does. Math + fun all wrapped up in a game initiated by an effort to keep my toddler entertained and distracted.
Modern trading card games (TCGs) like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering create opportunities for practicing basic math skills along with building logic and strategy skills that lead to hours, sometimes years, of math fun in a peer-centered environment.
Have you noticed the fireflies lighting up the summer night sky? Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are beetles and are one of the few insects parents actually allow their children to bring inside the house. There are about 2,000 different species of fireflies. Here’s a fun firefly craft that can spark Bedtime Math fun!