Do you remember math class being so boring or scary when you were in school, that it gave you math anxiety? As a homeschooling mom, I want to make sure my children don’t have the same negative outlook on math as I did when I was in school. Today I’ll be sharing 8 Fun Ways To Teach Young Children Math at Home in ways that your children will enjoy!
My childhood math struggle…
I remember being in public school and wondering why in the world would I ever need (insert really ridiculous math problems that made absolutely NO sense to a normal human brain) in real life.
Am I right?!
I knew I needed to have the basic math skills mastered of course.
You know, like— addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, and division, but I never fully understood much else as a school student because it wasn’t “real” to me.
And by “real”, I mean, it didn’t make sense why any normal person would ever need that stuff in “real” life unless you’re a mathematician.
I just didn’t see the need, as a young, naive child.
Take fractions for example
Seeing the circle on the piece of paper cut into equal pieces didn’t bring mathematics to life for me because I ONLY saw it as a circle, with numbers, and couldn’t understand why I would need this math practice.
Not only that, because it was just a circle with numbers, and I didn’t understand it in a real-life sense and how I could use these concepts in real-life circumstances.
And then, insert adding and subtracting fractions into the mix, that also didn’t make any sense to me, because they were just numbers without any real-life application taught along with them.
I promise you, I wasn’t a super rebellious child that just didn’t want to do my math work.
But the math just didn’t make sense to me because of the approach and the way it was taught
Now, a disclaimer— I’m not saying it was any teacher’s fault, because they were only teaching math the way they were told to teach math.
And they did that part right!
But for some children who need creative and fun ways to be taught math to help them to connect math to the real world, as I needed, there are unique approaches you can take.
Sometimes children just don’t catch on to the standard brick and mortar way math is taught.
And because of this, I really struggled with math all of my academic years.
Changing the way math is taught in our home
Math is all around us, we should embrace it and make math more fun!
I didn’t see this until I got older and started homeschooling our kids.
And since I’m a homeschooling mom and choose to give my children a really rich home education, my goal is to apply real-life examples with my children’s studies, in all subjects, when I can!
I want things to make sense to them, so they don’t struggle to try to make sense out of what and why they’re being taught (insert subject).
Their math lessons, being one of them, really needs to be engaging and have a connection to the real world.
With that being said, I have some really fun, engaging, and exciting ways to help teach your child math in a REAL-LIFE way.
Ways that will make sense and show them that math is truly all around us and that we use math every day!
8 Fun and Unique Ways To Teach Young Children Math at Home
These 8 fun examples will help you to teach math skills to your students in a fun, and engaging way that’s geared towards younger children (preschool and elementary school-age).
You can definitely take these math skill activities, and adapt them for older kids as well!
If you enjoy sewing, or would love to learn how to sew, teaching your child right along with you is a great way to help them connect math— with real life.
Here are a few ways math can be applied to sewing:
- Calculations- calculating the amount of fabric for the pattern and other items needed for the sewing project
- Learning or practice with measurements- such as yards, feet, inches, and more
- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division- when trying to calculate what you need for a pattern, especially if you’re making more than one, or need to alter a pattern
- Measurement with a ruler or measuring stick- correctly measuring out the correct amounts. Teaching your student how to correctly use a measuring stick/ruler.
Here’s a link to an easy sewing tutorial for kids
Who would have ever thought that playing with LEGOS or blocks could be considered math?!
If your child loves building things, you can incorporate math into their building to make math fun!
Next time your child wants to play with legos or blocks, it’s a great time to use some of these tips to “build” math skills at home.
Here are a few ways that math topics can be applied to building:
- Patterns, sizes, and shapes- teaching patterns with building blocks, talking about the different sizes and shapes
- Mathematical problem solving- figuring out what goes where
Cooking with your child is an amazing way to show your child that math is used all around us and an awesome way to use math at home!
In your homeschooling this year, why not add in some cooking skills?
Cooking with your child is one creative way to teach math at home. Pick a fun recipe to cook with your child and show them examples of math in everyday life!
Here are a few ways that math can be applied to cooking:
- Multiplication with recipes- doubling, tripling, etc.
- Measurements– measuring cups and spoons when measuring out ingredients. You can also teach them equivalent fractions here.
- Number Sense- Counting when adding ingredients to the recipe.
- Concept of Time– using timers for cooking, telling time on the clock
- Counting– when adding scoops
- Fractions– when cutting things like pizza, cakes, and using measuring cups/spoons
4. Scavenger Hunts
A scavenger hunt is a fun and interactive way to teach different mathematical concepts to your child. You can do the scavenger hunt in the home, or outside in nature.
After your child collects everything from the scavenger hunt, have your child bring the items inside and work on more math skills by separating the items into groups by color, size, shape, counting the items, measuring items using a ruler, weighing them on a scale, etc.
Here are a few fun ways math can be applied to Scavenger hunts:
- Counting- counting the items, having a certain amount of items to find on the scavenger hunt
- Grouping- group by like sizes, weights, lengths
- Patterns- turn their math scavenger hunt findings into patterns
- Measurements- Have them practice using a ruler to measure items from the scavenger hunt and write them down.
- Weight- using a scale to weigh some items, teaching pounds and ounces, teaching lighter VS heavier
- Sizes- big and small
Gardening is a wonderful way to teach your child some hands-on math skills.
When planning out your garden, let your child help you this year and let them see math in real-life examples with the beauty of gardening!
Here are a few ways math can be applied to gardening:
- Mapping/Graphing- planning out your garden beds
- Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication- figuring out how many seeds should go where
- Fine Motor Skills- placing the tiny seeds into the holes
- Measurement- spacing out rows or garden beds using a ruler, teaching square feet if you choose to do a square foot garden bed
- Counting- when placing seeds in holes or rows
6. Let math become natural in your vocabulary
Using math in your everyday language will help instill math learning skills into your child naturally.
Why is math vocabulary important to include at home? Because it will get numeracy skills ingrained in your child in a natural way.
I like to throw random math word problems at my kiddos at times. Especially when cooking or when I see a situation fit for a nice ol’ word problem. The kids have fun (sometimes) trying to figure out the answer.
Here are a few ways you can apply math concepts in a natural way to your vocabulary:
“Can you please go grab me 3 books from the shelf”- (for a preschooler or younger ages)
“Place 6 plates on the first shelf, and 8 bowls on the middle shelf”
“Can you please grab me 3 large red apples, 4 oranges?”
“Let’s weigh this flour, and measure out 2 pounds of flour”.
“Please place the cans on the shelf in order from smallest to largest”
“Grab one dozen eggs from the chicken coop”
Can playing games be considered math?
Oh yes, it surely can!
And, YES, playing games can be added to your homeschooling math lesson!
Remember this one basic tip about homeschooling- If they’re learning, you’re homeschooling! (But that’s a different topic for a different post 😉)
Here are a few fun “math” incorporated games are:
- Yahtzee (this a fun counting game that has a ton of counting involved)
- Sudoku (this great math game and math puzzles are for problem-solving)
- Monopoly (this will teach money management skills)
- Pop for Addition and Subtraction game – (this is a fun addition and subtraction game, which can turn into a fun counting activity)
- Multiplicate and Division Bingo – (the is a fun multiplication and division game, all while playing BINGO)
8. Giving Allowance
If you give your child allowance, turn each time they are given money into a creative way to teach math lessons at home.
I cannot stress the importance of teaching your child about finances, saving/spending, staying OUT OF DEBT!!!!!!! and budgeting! Start from a young age! (That’s again, a topic for another post sometime.😀)
Review counting the coins, their names, and their value, and counting the dollar bills.
Help your kids make a budget, or a spending goal to teach them more about money and math concepts.
Here are a few ways that giving allowance can be turned into a math activity and math lesson:
- Money recognition
- Adding money
- Money value
- Spending VS Saving
There are also a ton of real-looking money math manipulatives for practicing money skills. Like these ones found here.
What about you? Do you have any fun and unique ways you like to incorporate math into your homeschooling?
Send me a message, by clicking HERE!