Make math FUN – Doesn’t that sound hopeful?
Math is problem solving and puzzles. It should be fun. Who doesn’t like puzzles?Somewhere in my life, math stopped being fun. I want to make math fun for my daughter. Click To Tweet
But somewhere in my life math stopped being fun. My teachers made me copy my addition, subtraction, and multiplication tables over and over. Not much fun, but I learned them really well.
Why? Repetition is part of what makes new ideas and concepts permanent. Sure – but does it have to be so terribly boring all the time? I think we can find ways to bring back the fun.
Especially for my kindergarten kiddo, I want learning to be exploring new ideas and understanding mysteries, not just copying and worksheets.
But I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a math curriculum.
During Christmas shopping, I discovered a new family game that makes math fun!
The game is a version of Shut the Box. Each player rolls the dice and has to add or subtract to eliminate a number from your side of the board (older players may also multiply and divide).
Adding and subtracting fluidly within ten is one of the main kindergarten objectives for math. Each turn, I had her both add and subtract before deciding which number to use. We even discussed multiplication when she needed 3 and rolled 1 & 3.
She didn’t know it was school. We were just playing. The game made math fun!
Plus, playing as adults over Christmas, we had a great time. For under $15 on Amazon Prime, you just can’t beat a family game that doubles as home-school curriculum.
Another way we make math fun is through using math in hands-on or real world examples, like baking together or cutting up her PB&J sandwich into quarters.
We often use M&Ms as manipulatives to demonstrate numbers equal amounts. Plus, she gets to eat them as a reward when we are finished.
One of my daughter’s favorite books is The Doorbell Rang about chocolate chip cookies, and nothing compares to Grandma’s. Her own grandmother makes chocolate chip cookies that are a favorite. In this story, the sister and brother get to divide a dozen cookies, until the doorbell rang.
And two more friends arrive. Using a dozen M&Ms, we divide them up by the two characters. Then we add the two new characters and figure out how many cookies each person will get. As more and more characters arrive, we have to divide more and more.
While division isn’t a kindergarten math objective, introducing the concept in this fun cross-curricular lesson that ties reading and math together was just right to show we had the same number of M&Ms just divided differently.
She practiced counting, adding and manipulating numbers. We both laughed, and I enjoyed watching her pretend dividing up the “cookies.” We will be repeating this lesson, and the story is one of her treasured favorites.
These are two ways we made math fun over the past couple of weeks, and she is truly learning the concepts despite all the fun we’re having.