Making Maths Fun
Maths, especially mental maths, is a vital life skill, but children can become disengaged if they do not ‘get it’ quickly. Advice from our experts …make it fun.
Here are our Top tips:
- Include maths in your day to day life – measuring out quantities for cooking, counting the number of vegetables on a plate, working out distances and travel times.
- Encourage your child to solve Suduko and other maths puzzles and if they do not know how to do it, then teach them. Puzzles will develop problem solving skills as well as logical thinking and promote simple mathematical operations, such as addition.
- Get children familiar with money from an early age by letting them pay for things in shops and working out the change. As they get older they can practice percentages by working out the discount off an item. If you have a car boot sale then get your children involved and let them take responsibility for giving the customer the correct change.
- Have a game of ‘maths toss’ – throw a ball to each other and as you release the ball say a number, the catcher says an operation and then throws it to the next person who says another number and then the next person answers the sum.
- Use other resources such as playing cards or Uno to reinforce mathematical concepts. Technology, such as math websites, help increase a child’s numeracy ability, but screen based activities need to be used in moderation.
- If you have Jenga bricks, why not write numbers on them and mathematical symbols. Play Jenga as normal but children will have to work out the sum before placing the piece on the top of the pile.
- If your child is creative then a paint by numbers could be an interesting way to capture children’s attention and teach them numeracy skills. You could make your own up depending on your child’s mathematical ability.
- Try and make your own maths games – start by playing something like snakes and ladders and then develop this concept.
- Create help sheets together – like multiplication. Look for patterns that can help children.
- Make up songs or rhymes that children can remember for different formulas.
Remember that children learn concepts differently to how we were taught them, so it maybe beneficial for them to try and teach us, so we know their methods, before we try and support them. If in doubt, talk to the teacher about the methods they use.