Help your child improve in maths through every day activities!
Most young children do not want to learn in a formal manner, sitting down behind a desk working from a textbook. It’s a drag!
So what is the solution? Teaching young children while getting on with our daily lives is the most effective way to learn. This is because the child will make connection with real life and get a deep understanding of the concepts taught and will not even realise that they are learning.
Ideas on how maths can be taught through our daily lives:
When buying products at the supermarket ask your child to look out for the price tag, so your child knows how much each item costs. At the end let the child estimate the total bill. Fantastic to understand estimates.
When buying ask questions to the child that I only have £5 how many packets of so and so can I buy? Brilliant to teach multi calculations i.e. multiplication and subtraction.
When the cashier informs us about the total ask the child that I will give £20 note how much change will I get back? Child will get a deeper understanding of subtraction.
When buying 3 multi packs crisp which has 6 packets of crisps ask your child how many altogether? Great for teaching multiplications.
Follow up on each question on how they got their answers and correct them where necessary. Furthermore, all the above is related to the function of money which is an everyday need of life.
When baking a cake, different ingredients are needed and the measurements differ. Let your child do the practical measuring and without realising they will be learning concepts of measurements.
Furthermore, at times ask extra questions such as at present 500g flour is being added however if 50 grams less was added, how much would you have added?
Or if we were making twice as many cakes how much flour should be added? Your child would become a problem solver which is so important to not only maths but everyday problems.
When walking through the park or driving down a green leafy area ask your young child to count the trees. This will give basic understanding of counting. Extended questions such as you have counted 8 trees but if there were 2 more trees or 2 less trees how many trees would you have? Your child will get a thorough understanding of adding and subtraction. This can be done with larger numbers for older children.
Another strategy for your child is asking them to read out the numbers on the number plates. Thereafter, ask them to add 10, 100, or 1000 to the number, depending on age and ability. Great to understand place value.
Furthermore, while driving ask your child the speed you are travelling at and let them read it from the speedometer. Extension questions could be how many miles will the car travel in 1 hour if it constantly travelled at 30 mph? Or how many miles will the car travel in 30 minutes if it constantly travelled at 30 mph? Your child will understand speed and distance.
Some games such as monopoly are great as your child will learn basic money skills. Furthermore, ask your child basic questions while playing console games such as FIFA how many players are on the pitch?
When playing car racing console games ask your child that lap took 2 minutes and 15 seconds, what was the time in seconds only? This will teach your child regarding time.
If your child goes boxing ask them related questions such as there are 3 rounds with each round taking 3 minutes what is the total length of the boxing match? This will teach your child about multiplication and tie too.
After your child has played a game on your phone take an interest in their score. Follow up with the question regarding their previous score. Thereafter ask what was the difference between their present score and previous one? They will learn subtraction.
- Holidays abroad
When going on holiday to another country exchange rates play a great role. Teach them how to work out changing one currency to another e.g. changing £ to $ (multiply) and changing the $ back to £ (divide). During the trip abroad at certain points ask your child how much does this cost in £? Your child will learn how to convert currency.
- Routines (time)
Get your child to tell the time by looking at digital watch as well as a clock too.
Ask your child to change the time from am and pm time to 24 hour time.
Ask your child questions regarding that if we have breakfast at 7.30am and we leave for school after 1 hour and 15 minutes, what time will we leave? Your child will learn about problem solving related to time.
- Family/Relatives (age)
Tell your child your age ask them what year you was born in? Ask further similar question but regarding other relatives such as granddad too.
Tell your child that aunt’s age is so and so and my age is so and so. Who is older and by how many years? Your child will learn about subtracting and years too.
I hope the above helps.
It is not a complete list of ideas.
Please add your own ideas below on how children can learn maths through every day activities so we can all benefit… much appreciated.