For most kids, “math” can instantly bring on uneasy feelings and stress. Boring worksheets combined with increasingly complex formulas and applications can quickly make a child lose interest in the subject. The good news is that there are ways to make math more fun and interesting to your child, helping them to realize that math is all around us and it’s so much more than just numbers on a page.
Here are some ways to make math more relevant to your child’s everyday life by incorporating real-world examples and applications.
Using hands-on activities can be a great way to have fun with math in an interactive way. Hands-on math allows students to explore the subject in ways that textbooks cannot. There are a ton of ways to use things such as LEGO pieces, UNO cards, beads, coins, and a variety of household items to create math games and activities that are fun and engaging. Check out this website for some ideas on how to add some hands-on math activities to your child’s learning time at home. You can also check out Scholars fantastic STEM program, which uses LEGO pieces, robots, and apps to allow children to combine new technology with tangible elements to learn through a hands-on and creative approach.
- Math Apps
With the ever-increasing use of technology by children of all ages, having your child use a portion of their screen time utilizing math-related apps can be a fun way for them to learn. With over 500 000 apps in the app store categorized as “Educational,” it can feel a bit overwhelming when choosing the right one for your child. This website lists some of the best math apps to keep your child entertained while building their math confidence. It will also help to generate positive feelings towards the subject, which can help to ease some of their math anxiety in the classroom.
- Board Games
Board games can not only be educational, but they can also provide hours of fun for the whole family. In terms of helping to develop math skills, playing classic games such as Monopoly, Scrabble (or Scrabble Junior), Chess, Yahtzee, Connect Four, and Math Bingo are great ways to allow your children to practice math and improve their skills without even realizing they are doing it, as they’ll be too busy putting hotels on Boardwalk or making a word on a triple letter tile. A recent favourite in our house is a game called “Qwirkle,” which uses shapes, colours and patterns to score points.
- Real-Life Applications
When kids realize that math is all around them and is an essential skill that they’ll use throughout their lives, they may start paying more attention to it. Pointing out when math comes up in our daily lives can help to make them aware of its usefulness. We use math for such everyday things as preparing food, shopping, watching sports, exercising, driving, playing video games, and building or assembling. Showing your kids these examples when they happen and then including them in calculations can change how they feel about math.
Simple encouragement can go a long way to keeping the dark math clouds away. Helping your child with their homework and easing their mind if they are having trouble with a specific problem can give them the support they need to push forward confidently. Math can sometimes be frustrating, but with some reasonable effort and reassurance, every child can succeed in the subject.
A bonus option is getting your child a math tutor (yes, we are biased). With a good tutor, your child will improve their math skills and greatly benefit from the one-on-one support a tutor can provide. Check out our math programs for students of all ages!