July 25, 2016
When most kids (and parents) think about summer, math usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Fortunately, there’s many ways to engage children with fun activities that reinforce math learning throughout the summer. By mixing math concepts in everyday activities, kids can practice critical math skills without even knowing it, and apply those skills to real life situations. Try the following activities to reinforce math learning over the summer:
Preschoolers love to help out! At the grocery store, have your children count out the number of items you need on your grocery list. Tell your child that you need four apples, and with your guidance, let them pick and count out the items to put in the cart. For older kids, give them a “budget” of money they can spend at the store and have them pick from a grocery list of items what they would like to “buy” within their budget.
Give your child every opportunity to count, and help them to notice the numbers and math that are naturally around them all the time! Give your preschooler a number and have them write down any time they see the number. This can be a number on a clock, a clothing size, on the stove, anywhere. Help to increase your older children’s awareness of how numbers are used by pointing out how numbers are used in weather and newscasts, or temperatures while cooking and baking.
Keep your child entertained in the car or while waiting at restaurants. Download math apps on your phone and tablet that will work your children’s skills without you having to do a thing. Look for apps that reinforce addition, subtraction, and sequencing skills in a colorful and interactive way.
There’s bound to be downtime in between your hectic summer plans. Sometimes kids need direct practice, and math work doesn’t have to be boring! Download and print free math worksheets to help increase your child’s math skills. Look for worksheets that incorporate many types of math related skills, such as geometric shapes, counting, tracing letters, or learning measurements.
Your children won’t even know they’re doing math when they plan a fun day for your family. Help your child to plan a fun family day: what to do, where to go, what they need, how much, and what it all will cost. Your family will get to enjoy the day, and your children will work their math skills through their planning. Ideas for this could be a family picnic, a day at the beach, or even a trip to an amusement park.
There are many board or card games that can help young learners build and practice their math skills. Card games often require players to count or keep score. Games with dominos or dice help kids to recognize the groups of dots on the game pieces. Games like Connect 4 and even bingo help kids to recognize rows. Chutes and Ladders and High Ho! Cherry-O are also excellent choices which help kids to practice counting.
While working outdoors, help your children notice the different shapes and sizes of objects outside. Have them count the flowers in your flower bed, or the fruit on a tree. For older kids, grab a measuring tape and have kids measure whatever objects they see that interest them.
Math is everywhere, and practicing it doesn’t have to put a damper on summer fun. By using the above strategies, you can be rest assured that your children will keep their math skills sharp over the summer, while providing them with real world math applications.