Maths can be fun and stimulating at the same time – you don’t always need exercise books – you can teach through games and play. Here are 10 fun tips to go about making Maths fun for your kids….
- Ask them to make pancakes with play dough and then cut halves, thirds or quarter pieces for you. You can do the same with fruits, jellies just about anything they eat. This is an easy way to introduce them to fractions. Another idea is to give them a number of toys or stickers and ask them to divide it equally between siblings or friends.
- Draw, colour and cut different shapes as a craft activity. Then ask them to identify different things around the house with those shapes. For e.g. a study table could be a rectangle. Identifying shapes in an important spatial concept and a foundation for Geometry. Later use these shapes as soft blocks to build a tower…and ask them to make a similar one next to yours.
- Size comparisons can be done anywhere…at, at the park, in the car. Which soft-toy is bigger? Which bowl has more cereal? How many small and big coins in your Piggy Bank? Give them the clothes from the washing-machine and ask them to sort out your and their clothes, match the socks.
- Basic number recognition is a building block for bigger concepts like addition/subtraction. Play hop scotch with numbers…write big and small numbers and ask them to jump to numbers as you call them out. Make flash cards with cut-out pictures of whatever your children love the most- could be Disney characters or Dinosaurs.
- You can give them fake money (cut out paper dollar bills) and ask them to make a supermarket list to buy with that. This will give them good Money Sense. Or alternatively ask them to count out the real money notes to a cabbie or in a shop.
- Ask them to write a rough schedule of their day in terms of hour-what time they get up, eat meals, and have activities. This will give them basic Time Sense. It can be fun to figure out how long it takes to go to a friend’s house or to watch a cartoon movie.
- Patterns is anything that repeats in a sequence….talk about how daddy and mommy go away to work in morning and are back in the evening. Or how the moon comes out after the sun sets. Small children feel secure and happy with established routines – so try to have a set time when they go down to play, have snacks etc. Then discuss those daily patterns with them.
- Ask them if the food is on the table or under it, if Daddy is taller then the teddy-bear and which is the biggest toy they have? Is the TV inside the house or outside it? All this will give them a sense of positions and measurements.
- Talk about changing seasons and point out if it’s raining, sunny or very cold. Discussing the seasons and associated weather changes will also make them familiar with the calendar. You can always hang a poster next to the window, where they can draw sun, rains or clouds according to the weather they see outside.
- You can help your child to develop a sense of direction by talking about maps and coordinates in the simplest way possible. Start by drawing grid-lines on a blank paper and paste stickers on some of the intersection points. Ask them to trace the columns and rows with their fingers and name the intersection points where they find the stickers. By doing this activity a couple of times they will slowly start learning how to read coordinates.