In order to convince your child that mathematics can be lots of fun, there are two approaches you can take. You can use a game approach to learning math or you can try “creative mathematics”. By using creative mathematics, your child is far more likely to remember the concepts he or she has learned. Here are just a few ideas to help you get started.
Creative Mathematics Utensil Possibilities Challenge
- Give the child three utensils: fork, knife and spoon.
- Ask him or her, “How many ways can you arrange these utensils in a row?” (Correct answer: 6)
- Suggest the child can flip the utensils upside down by putting the handles facing away from his or her body. Ask, “How many ways can you arrange these utensils in a row now? (Answer: 48)
- Ask, “If you flip the utensils over making them face either way, how many possibilities are there?”(Answer: 196)
- For more of a challenge, add another utensil such as a salad fork to make the answer more complex.
- If the challenge is too difficult, use only two utensils such as a fork and spoon. You can later add a utensil to increase the difficulty.
Counting and Cutting Pasta
Another creative mathematics idea that will certainly be a fun activity for your child is “Counting and Cutting Pasta”. The purpose of this spaghetti problem is to introduce the concepts of circumference and diameter and the relationship of the two.
You stretch a piece of cooked spaghetti across a glass or a plate. You then cut the spaghetti piece on the edge of the opposite side Ask you child to figure out the number of pieces of the spaghetti that are cut to that size (the diameter) will be needed to cover the rim all the way around (the circumference). By playing with the spaghetti, the child can calculate what the ratio between them is. (pi)
Leaning Mathematics with Games
For this Math Bingo game, you will need a number of blank bingo cards, a set of dice and bingo markers. Since it’s always more fun to play bingo if you are competing with others, your child could invite a couple of friends.
- Give each child a blank bingo card. Instruct the children to write a number between 1 and 12 in each blank box on the card. They can write the same number more than once.
- Explain that the bingo game we are about to play is slightly different from the bingo they usually play. Roll the dice. A three and a four are rolled. Instruct the children to cover the number on their card that would be the sum of 3 and 4.
- The next time you roll the dice, you could have the children subtract one number from another. As you continue the game, you can vary the problems with addition, subtraction, and division until there is a winner.
- For eleven additional “super fun ways” for first graders to and including six graders to learn math refer to Teach mama.
Online Math Games
- Math Playground You will find games for first graders to eighth graders and even high school students.
- Free Online Math Games You will find games for first graders to and including seventh graders.
- com You will find games for first graders to eighth graders and even high school students.
Make Real World Connections
Another way to make math fun is to make real life connections. You can utilize different fields such as engineering and maybe even civil engineering to teach basic and exciting real life math principles. Who knows, one day one of your students might end up with a degree in a field like this. (Visit here for more information.) It really is amazing how much of a difference teaching things like this at a young age can make.
If you introduce your child to inventive mathematics, you will instill a keen interest without trying too hard. Mathematics often naturally seems like a game. However, problems that are presented in creative ways will stick in the mind of a curious kid far longer.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.