Whilst mathematics is an essential skill that every child needs to develop throughout their schooling, we completely understand that it is not everyone's strong suit. Luckily, our qualified teachers have put together some actionable tools that all parents and teachers can implement to make Maths more engaging and enjoyable!
Maths is a fascinating tool that young students can use to answer many questions about the world around them. Whether your child thoroughly likes Maths, or finds it overwhelming, finding ways to spark an interest in the subject and explore its teachings at a young age can have a strong impact on their development in the subject at school.
There are many benefits of beginning your child's mathematical journey at a young age, including strengthening their problem solving skills, thinking skills and foundational knowledge of the subject. Now, this can be tricky for many parents since, as mentioned before, many students build an imaginary wall when the topic of Maths comes up. That's why we are here; to make this process as simple and easy for parents as possible. Below are our tips on how you can make Maths fun for your child!
1. Learn through play
Play is a fun and engaging way to encourage learning and development with your child. The NSW Department of Education states that "Children are naturally curious about the world
around them. They experience and come to understand the world and their place in it through play. Creating opportunities for children to explore, experiment, question and discover new concepts about the world in playful ways is central to their learning, development and wellbeing." You don't need any expensive equipment to encourage learning through play; a deck of cards, dice, or even materials in your garden will do the job!
Some examples for you are:
Collecting leaves outside and creating equal and non-equal groups
Creating number patterns using a deck of cards
Playing a probability game with dice
Painting rocks outside to create a coloured pattern
More ideas on learning through play can be found on the NSW Department of Education website: https://education.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/main-education/early-childhood-education/information-for-parents-and-carers/learning-through-play.pdf.
2. Use real-life examples
Math is all around us, and incorporating real-life examples can help your child understand its practical applications. Whether you're cooking, shopping, or measuring something at home, involve your child in the process and discuss how math plays a role. For instance, you can ask them to help measure ingredients for a recipe, calculate discounts during a shopping trip, or even plan a budget together. This hands-on approach makes math more relatable and shows your child its relevance in everyday life.
3. Exploring through art
Creativity and math are not as far apart as they may seem. Encourage your child to explore the artistic side of math by incorporating art projects into their learning. Activities like drawing geometric shapes, creating patterns, or making math-inspired crafts can be both fun and educational. Additionally, explore the world of tessellations, fractals, and symmetrical designs to spark your child's interest in the mathematical beauty that surrounds us.
4. Use measurement as a fun everyday tool!
Developing your child's knowledge in measurement is a life-long skill that will benefit them throughout their schooling and beyond. Understanding measurement will strengthen your child's estimation skills, and this can be incorporated in your every day life! Below are some examples on how you can do this:
Measure and compare the heights of members in the family. This is a fun way to introduce comparison language (taller than, shorter than) as well as develop your child's understanding of the suitable units of measurement for length (1 m = 100 cm).
Use non-standard units of measurement to measure items around the house. For example, how many toilet rolls tall is your child's bed? You could also use your child's hands and feet as a non-standard unit of measurement!
Involving your child in cooking and baking is also a great way to get them to estimate liquids and solids (measuring milk and flour). You could ask them to estimate first, check their estimation, and then adjust to get the actual measurement.
5. Involve them in grocery shopping.
Actively involving your child in grocery shopping not only strengthens their number knowledge in terms of adding, subtracting and finding percentages, but it also helps them to understand the concept of saving money and finances. Here are some fun activities you can involve your child in, all during a grocery shop:
Ask your child to choose the best option out of two items that are on sale in store. This will allow them to practise their ability to mentally calculate percentages of a full amount, for example, 10% and 20%. Here, they will be able to see that 20% of the full amount is double 10% of the full amount. This will also encourage them to make the best money saving choice based on the discounted amount.
Get your child to pay for items independently, allowing them to ensure they have enough cash, and that they received the correct amount of change. This will strengthen their ability to mentally calculate addition and subtraction facts.
There you have it - many simple and actionable activities that you can implement in your daily life to help strengthen your child's mathematical abilities. Once your child realises that Maths is all around them, they will be able to relate to it and find a passion in problem solving.
For more tips and tricks, or to have a tutor implement more Maths activities with your child, call us on 0481 180 222 or contact us here today!