Exposing your children to math concepts at home is a lot of fun and quite easy to do. Math is everywhere! Therefore, it’s easy to find things that are a part of your daily life at home and expand on the math fun and learning opportunities. Check out these three fun ideas using household objects for hands-on math fun.
3 Easy Ways to Have Hands-On Math Fun at Home
1. Play with Food
This is the one time it’s okay to let your kids play with their food. Babies, toddlers, and even school-aged children will have a blast creating shapes, counting, and sorting their food. Foods that work great for math fun include cereal, marshmallows, fruit snacks, and small chocolate candies. Really, any food that is small and manageable for little hands to work with is fine. The idea is to integrate math fun during mealtime or make a game appealing because you’re using unconventional items, in this case, food!
Depending on your child’s age, you could simply count out the food as you serve it, or you could ask them how many more they have left before clearing their plate. You can also let them sort their food by shape or colors. Yet another idea is to create shapes using the food – triangles, circles, and squares can easily be created using small cereal or candy pieces. How about tangram sandwiches for lunch?
2. Fun with Blocks
Pretty much every household has at least one set of blocks – it’s such a versatile and essential toy for children. When you break out the blocks for some fun play time, you can extend the fun by incorporating math. Sure, blocks will allow your children to build fun towers, castles, and many other shapes, but you can also play with blocks in other ways. Children can sort blocks by color, shape, and size. Blocks can also be used to count and for homework help to model math problems. Another way to use blocks is to create patterns and let your children finish them.
3. In the Kitchen
The kitchen is probably one of the easiest ways to have math fun at home. There is so much that kids can do in the kitchen to build math skills. From measuring ingredients for a recipe, to talking about fractions when cutting pie or pizza slices, your kids are sure to have a lot of math fun as they enjoy a little one-on-one time with you. My seven-year-old daughter is constantly asking to help me in the kitchen, so we talk numbers as she helps me cook. She helps me count out items, measure ingredients, calculate how much time is left before a dish is done. She also helps divide dishes into enough pieces or slices so that we have enough for the family.
Younger children can have math fun in the kitchen too. My two-year-old also likes to be a big helper, so even he participates in the math fun with more basic concepts. For him, I count how many items we drop into the bowl, or how many times we stir. It’s simple, but he’s still benefiting from hearing math elements as we cook our dish.
What are some of your favorite ways to have hands-on math fun at home?