“But I’m not good at math!” It’s a whine heard by parents around the world, and it can be especially frustrating if your child has just internalized the idea without even trying to improve their math skills. Fortunately, there are ways to get them excited about numbers that don’t involve homework. Here are just four fun activities that involve counting and calculating.
From measuring ingredients to dividing portions, there are a lot of sums, fractions and volumes involved with baking. As a bonus, your child won’t even notice that they’re learning and utilizing math when they’re having so much fun with their sweet treats. Whether it’s whipping up a batch of holiday sugar cookies or decorating cupcakes for the school’s annual bake sale, consider using the kitchen as an instrument for your child’s mathematical education.
This is a one-two punch in terms of life skills because it will teach your child about the value of money while simultaneously improving their ability to count and calculate. You don’t have to get into high-end concepts like home loan interest ratios. Just let your child help you with couponing before you go to the grocery store, or give them an allowance so that they can save up for something that they want. They’ll be incentivized to crunch the numbers all by themselves.
If your child plays a sport, you can use math to help them improve their performance on the field. For example, you might use batting averages to motivate a baseball player, or you might ask a soccer goalie how they can calculate angles and trajectories to stop more balls. For small children, just keeping score or tallying points can be an exciting responsibility during their older siblings’ games. Numbers play a big role in a lot of sports, so don’t be afraid to capitalize on that.
This is one of the easiest ways to get children excited about math. Old-school board games like Monopoly and Yahtzee will make them add and subtract as a matter of course, and many new-age apps are designed to teach kids math skills under the guise of something fun or silly. The first step to being good at math is being comfortable with numbers in general, and playing games can help your child reach this point without even realizing it.
These are just a few ways to build your child’s math skills with real-world games and activities. You don’t have to bury their nose in a textbook to get the job done, especially if you stay enthusiastic about all of your plans. Good luck!