Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Ways to Have Fun With Math

When I was a kid, I rarely enjoyed math. All of those worksheets, memorization, and lists of problems to solve just did not interest me. 

There's just no fun in that! 

Luckily, math doesn't have to be boring. And for children just learning the concepts of counting and math, it can be loads of fun. 

Here is my list of 10 ways to have fun with math.

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1. Play games. Get out a deck of cards and start playing. Number recognition, greater than and less than, and addition are all very fun concepts to learn with a deck of cards. Here's a post by Imagination Soup that lists several games you could play.

2. Get out your blocks. Recently my girls and I had great fun practicing our counting and basic addition with our building blocks. You can also learn about subtraction or even basic geometry with your blocks. Start building and you'll be surprised at what your kids learn. 

3. Learn about measurement and estimation with non-standard units. NurtureStore used Legos to measure with, while The Imagination Tree used hand prints. Come up with your own non-standard unit. Maybe you'll use blocks, foot prints, or even whole body lengths to measure. Try to guess how many blocks you'll need to measure the length of a book. Have fun and let your kids use their problem-solving skills.

4. Play with pattern blocks. Make patterns and have your kids replicate them. Create shapes using the pattern blocks. PreKinders has a lot of pattern block mats you can use to help your kids create pictures with the pattern blocks. (I found our pattern blocks at Discount School Supply.)

5. Learn about shapes by going on a Shape Hunt. Send the kids all over the house looking for examples of different shapes. 

6. Get out your play dough! Sculpt them into numbers or shapes. Or, you could roll out lengths of them and practice cutting and measuring with a ruler, just like this example at Shannon's Tot School.

7. Practice counting with a counting maze. Hands On: As We Grow shares this wonderful and fun idea!

8. Practice math with candy. You can practice counting, estimating, graphing, sorting, adding, subtracting, and more using candy. Creative Connections with Kids shows you some fun ideas with M&M's and Quirky Momma shows you all the math fun you can have with a bag of Skittles.

9. Have some counting fun with nursery rhymes. Your littlest ones will love counting along with some of their favorite nursery rhymes such as One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Five Little Monkeys.

10. Get active. Play hopscotch or jump rope to practice counting. You could also mix it up a little bit and play shape hopscotch instead of traditional hopscotch. 

*Bonus Activity: There are many, many books full of math activities that you could find at your local library. Two of my favorites are Math Play! by Diane McGowan and Mark Schrooten and MathArts: Exploring Math Through Art for 3 to 6 Year Olds by MaryAnne Kohl.

How do you like to have fun with math?


  1. Nice list. My girls love math and I love that they love it. I'll definitely use some of these that are new to us! Thank you!!

  2. great list...all fun stuff that almost most kids enjoy...I also use math skills when they help with cooking...they measure the ingredients...even young kids can get 2! and I love the kids co- ops ...I am going to go get some ideas!!

  3. Fabulous! Love math so much! I'm pinning this for some future fun for the kids! Thanks!!

  4. What great ideas!! Math is so important and it surrounds us, doesn't it? I have used a lot of these ideas in my classroom and it builds excitement, learning opportunities, and helps kids to make meaningful connections in a fun way. I just did a blog post on math and music, hope you'll check it out when you get a chance.

  5. what a great resource! i pinned it!

  6. These are great ideas for teaching math to the kids so they would love it. Some kids find it really hard. Playing cards have characters and pictures that would attract them in studying math. learn how to play poker


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