Bright Ideas: Fun with Math

Posted on 14 September 2007

As a mother of a 1st grader, I wanted to share some resources that I have found and fun learning ideas about teaching kids math.

Playing store. A parent of a third-grader writes: "Our 8-year-old daughter likes to open up a 'store' once a month. She grabs things around the house and puts them up for sale. She puts price tags on everything. I tell her I'll buy things from her as long as they are at 50% discount and she does the math to figure out the final cost. Then, I pick things out. In the end, my bill is usually $2 to $3 and I actually pay her money that she adds to her piggy bank. She gets to practice adding numbers as well as working with percentages."


Car games. A mom of three kids writes: "I look for fun ways to introduce math concepts into everyday games. For example, as we drive around town we look for Volkswagen Beetles, which are 10 points. We call out the color of the car when we see it and then call out our new score. I have a 7-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. I calculate the score for my 2-year-old. What puts a smile on my face is when the kids modify the rules — emergency vehicles are five points, flashing lights are a bonus of 20 points, blue telephone boxes are 15 points, etc."

Build a tower. An instructional math coach from Los Angeles writes: "When you use hands-on materials, math is much more enjoyable. The object of the game 'Build a Tower' is to construct a tower corresponding to the number on the die rolled. You and your child each get some linking cubes and one die. Your child rolls the die and builds a tower with the number of cubes shown on the die. Then you roll the die and build a tower, too. Stand your towers next to each other and compare. Which tower is taller/shorter? Which number of cubes is greater/smaller? If your child is ready to add, he can roll the dice and build his towers with the sum of the dice."

Do you have a child in grade school? Do you have any fun suggestions for Math games?  Please share!

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