Using just a few simple items you probably have around the house, you can create fun activities to practice math with kiddos of all ages!
Pre-K: Using painter’s tape, put the numbers 0 through 9 on the floor (see image above). Have your child hop to a number you say. Simple as that. You can also use riddles or rhymes to identify a number. For example, “You ate this many chicken nuggets for lunch.” “We have this many animals.” “We will be late if it’s after ______.”
Elementary: Have your child jump to three to four numbers as you write them down. This activity has endless math possibilities! You can have them write the number in expanded form, tell you what digit is in each place value, create two numbers and compare them (greater than, less than), or create two numbers and add or subtract them.
Junior High: Your child probably isn’t going to want to hop on numbers on the floor. But, you could use chalk to put numbers under the basketball hoop and they can shoot from the number you give them. Then, have them multiply, add, or divide the numbers they shoot from. Or, create a four square board with different numbers in it. Have them bounce the ball back and forth to multiply and divide; this can work on their math fluency skills.
Pre-K: Using poker chips, poms poms, or buttons, choose two to three different colors and put a random amount of each in a cup. Your child can Shake it up! then spill the items. They can sort and count by color, then count them up all together. Start with 10 of each color; as your child increases their number identification skills, you can add more.
Elementary: Increase the count to 20 for each color. Have your child sort, skip count, identify if the set totals are odd or even, compare the sets, and even create number sentences.
Junior High: To work on probability, after your child shakes, ask them what the probability is for a certain color. They can write probability problems (Rachel has 20 chips, both blue and green. If she has 4 blue chips, what is the probability that she will grab a green one?) and then test the problem to see what happens.
Pre-K: On a big piece of butcher paper, write 0-9 randomly and multiple times. Using dotters, your child can dot the numbers you call out. As they increase their identification skills, they can dot the number with its amount. For example, 2 dots on the 2, 3 dots on the 3, etc.
Elementary: Write standard form numbers on strips of paper. Depending on your child’s age, the numbers may be up to 1,000,000,000. Once you have about 25 numbers, spread them throughout the room/house. Now have your child hunt! Once they find the number, have them say it and answer a question about it, such as, “What digit is in the tens place?” or, “How many hundreds does it have?” You could also have them read two numbers and compare, telling which one is greater than or less than the other.
Junior High: Write numbers and scatter them around, just like with the younger children. This time, though, have them divide the number by a given divisor. Ask if the number is prime, what are its multiples, Greatest Common Factor, Lowest Common Denominator, etc.
What are some fun ways you practice math skills at home with your kiddos?