Math basics are extremely essential for daily life so you may be wondering how to make math fun. From compiling a grocery list and developing a household budget to saving for retirement and making complex financial decisions, a deep understanding of mathematics drives it all.
Sadly, so many young people still dislike math. Even students who claim to like math often worry that they are not good at it, and it is up to us, as parents, to turn that thinking around.
If you fear your child is falling behind in math class or failing to grasp basic mathematical concepts, there are extremely simple steps you can take to make the subject fun. Making math exciting and engaging for young people is half the battle, and here are some easy ways to make that happen.
How to Make Math Fun for Preschoolers
Break Out the Math Games
Simple math games are great for developing a strong foundation for numeracy. If you’re nervous about your child’s comfort and abilities in math, the basics are where to start, no matter how old they are. Let your child count on their fingers. Let them use math manipulatives. Let them draw pictures on paper (please! this is such a great learning strategy). Just playing a game of 21 a few times a week will help build those numeracy basics.
Take Your Child Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping with the kids may be stressful for you, but it can be a prime learning opportunity for them. Preschool math is not all about classroom lessons and block counting; practical activities can be just as instructive.
Parents can count with their kids as the items fill up the cart, teaching basic mathematical concepts in the process. These simple math activities can make otherwise abstract concepts easier to grasp for young children.
Build on Classroom Activities
If your child attends a Montessori preschool or Montessori daycare, talk to the teachers and brainstorm ways to build on classroom activities. The things you do at home with your child can reinforce classroom concepts while building a love of math for the next generation.
Whether you follow the Montessori method or not, you can have an enormous influence on your child. North American Montessori works by developing a lifelong love of learning in the young people it serves, but you can use the same basic concepts no matter what type of school your child attends.
Engage in Everyday Counting
Basic concepts like addition and subtraction are essential building blocks for all forms of higher math, including subjects like algebra, geometry and trigonometry. And while your preschooler may not be ready for trig and calc classes, they can use their counting skills every day.
There are plenty of ways to encourage counting skills and a love of math in your child. When you drive around town, ask your child to count the number of stop signs or red lights. When you go shopping, ask your preschooler to add up the number of items in the cart. When you watch TV, ask about the number of dogs shown on the screen; the possibilities are nearly limitless.
An Allowance as a Teaching Tool
Even young children can understand mathematical concepts like money and making change, and providing an allowance is a great way to reinforce those lessons. Even young children can benefit from having an allowance, especially if those monetary gifts are accompanied by fun mathematical instructions.
You can start by giving your child a piggy bank, then slowly counting the coins as they go into the slot. Over time, your child can learn about basic math as they count up the amount of money they have saved.
Teaching your child preschool math does not have to be difficult, and it should definitely not be boring. If you want to prepare your son or daughter for the real world, the mathematical lessons outlined above can help you get started.