Not every child naturally excels at math. And for those who do, many children have no interest in it outside of school requirements or for homework. How can a parent or caregiver help their child increase their excitement about math beyond the classroom?
One of the best things you can do to boost their interest in math is to keep math books and related math games handy for your child to use. Simple games that involve dice or a math-centric video that he or she can play on their hand-held video game device is a great way to sneak in more math exposure into your child’s life.
Another way to get your child more interested is to include math problems while doing errands around town. For example, while at the grocery store, you can give your child math problems such as asking them if you have 60 oranges and you have to divide them between 5 friends, how many oranges would each friend get. Or while at a department store you see sale signs advertising 20, 30 or 40 percent off, have the child figure out the sale price of different items (if it is age appropriate of course). Or while driving, you give them a math problem like if a car is driving at 50 miles an hour, about how long will it take them to drive to the next state, which is 360 miles away?
If you like to bake with your children, using baking measurements is a fun way to get them to understand fractions better. While using measuring cups, have them add up different amounts. Or ask your child to figure out how many cups equal a quart, how many quarts equal a pound, etc. You can also teach them fractions by cutting up a pizza and discussing the difference between ½ vs. ¼ etc. Or take two dozen cookies and divide them up into fractions.
Utilizing a website that offers cool math games for your child is a great way to get them involved while having a fun time. Look for an educational website that offers challenging math games and activities for free.
Lastly, read books that incorporate numbers into the storyline. Some recommended books for children between the ages of four and eight include 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet,The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, the 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Suess, Safari Park by Stuart Murphy and Night Noises by Mem Fox.