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.
(via Hand On: As We Grow)
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?
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