What do you picture when you think of math?
When most kids think of math, all they see are boring numbers, worksheets, and long hours of teaching. Of course, these aren’t exactly pretty images, but it’s a clear indication of most children’s relationship with math. Most kids tend to see mathematics as a difficult, boring subject that they’d skip if they had the chance to.
But it doesn’t always have to be this way. Learning math for kids can be fun and exciting for everyone involved. Wondering how? It’s pretty simple.
As a face-to-face or online math tutor for kids, you can spice up your classroom by integrating fun activities into each lesson. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best ways to make math for children an exciting adventure:
Sorting And Counting Candy
Counting, additions, and subtractions aren’t the most exciting things to do for most kids. But you can make it fun by introducing the one thing they love: candy. If you’re teaching a toddler or kindergartener, you can help them learn to count by getting an assortment of colourful candies. Pour these candies into a bowl and then invite them to sort the candies out by colour.
Once they’ve done this, they can then begin to count each section to find out the most prevalent colours. But that’s not where it ends. You can also use candy to teach them the concepts of addition and subtraction. Add or take out candies and make them count it all again to determine the difference. This way, you can “trick or treat” them into loving math.
Pro Tip: Although using candies is a fun way to teach kids basic mathematical concepts, you’ll most likely get better results when you do it alongside with them. Count with them and show enthusiasm when they get the answers right. This way, they’ll feel more enthusiastic about learning math.
Shape Finding And Tracing
Although most kids don’t start to identify shapes until they start schooling, you can “catch” your kids young by teaching them about shapes from the early age of two. Wondering how? Well, it’s much easier than you think.
The first step is to show them what each shape looks like: circles, triangles, and so on. You could use colourful flashcards to pull this off since children tend to remember better when shown colourful images. Once you’re sure that they know what each shape looks like, you can then take them on a treasure hunt of sorts.
Let them try to identify shapes in everyday objects like mirrors, cotton pads and so on. They’ll definitely find it fun!
Match The Cookies
What child doesn’t love cookie dough? As a parent or teacher, it’s always best to use their favourite treats or toys to teach them math. Just like shape finding, “match the cookies” is a fun way to teach your child or student all about shapes. Although it can be hard to try out this activity if you’re teaching math for kids online, it’s certainly worth trying out in physical classes.
Make some cookie dough and then cut out some shapes using cookie cutters. Next, let your child figure out the shape you’ve made and try to replicate it. Not only is this activity exciting and educational, but they’ll also have something to look forward to at the end of each session: cookies!
If your child loves dancing, then they’d certainly love this activity. The number dance is a fun physical activity that not only serves educational purposes but also encourages kids to move around. As such, it’s a better alternative than traditional classroom sessions where kids have to sit at a desk in order to learn math.
Here’s how it works: get a few number mats and place them on the floor (the more colourful they are, the better). Next, write out simple math problems on the board and try to get them to solve them. Once they’ve guessed the answer correctly, they have to jump and place their feet on the matching number mat.
The best part about this game is that it can be played by children of all ages!
Math Facts Garden
Wondering how to get your Grade 1 students or kids to love math? The Math Facts Garden just might be the activity you need. However, to play this game, you’d need to bring your artistic skills to the core. For starters, you’ll need to draw a large flower on the ground (or board) and then add about ten or twelve numbered petals.
Next, put down a number and a sign in the middle of the flower (for instance, 3x). Once you’ve done this, the kids can then try to multiply the numbered petals by the number in the middle and guess the answers. For each answer they guess correctly, you could hand them a real petal as a reward.
A Flashcard Race
We’d all love racing if it weren’t for the fact that we get out of breath after each race. But what if we could race with flashcards? Most kids enjoy the competitive spirit of racing and so, introducing this element into math classes is a great way to grab their attention and make each lesson a thrilling one for them.
But what exactly is a flashcard race? Here’s how it works: write down some math problems ona series of flashcards and place them from one end of the room to the other. The kids can get to the finish line by solving each math problem. The first child to get to the finish line wins. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Whether physical or online, math for kids doesn’t have to be boring. With these fun activities outlined above, you can get your kids to love math and begin to look forward to each session. Remember to show enthusiasm as well because the more enthusiastic you are, the more willing they’d be to learn. Good luck!