Activities

There's nothing like a math problem – or worse, a fraction – to get even the bravest parent's heart pumping. Maybe you feel comfortable helping your child with addition and subtraction, maybe you don't. But here's the secret: you are good at math and you practice it dozens of times a day, even if you don't realize it. Going to the store, cooking, driving and even filling the bathtub all involve math skills.

There's no one more qualified than you to help your child learn the skills he or she needs to be successful in math and beyond. With the help of these simple at-home activities, you can make math fun (really) in every day life. By the time fractions come around, you'll know you're already a pro.

  • Cat in the Hat: A House Just Right for Me!

    Skills:

    • Measurement,
    • Spatial Sense

    Practice measurement skills by building a house for a favorite toy or character like the Cat in the Hat.

  • Cat in the Hat: Follow the Pasta Path

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense

    Build a path out of pasta to help the Cat in the Hat get back together with his friends.

  • Cat in the Hat: Go on a Length Hunt

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Grab a piece of string and go on a measuring expedition around the house.

  • Cat in the Hat: How Many Ways Old Are You?

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Counting,
    • Numbers

    Explore the many ways you can represent and count numbers.

  • Cat in the Hat: Hunting for Treasure Up, Down, All Around

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense

    Create a series of position clues to lead your child to a hidden “treasure.”

  • Cat in the Hat: Shape Hunt Adventure

    Skills:

    • Shapes

    Find shapes around your house or neighborhood.

  • Cat in the Hat: Thinga-ma-jigger Hide-and-Seek

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense

    Use clues to help your child find the Thinga-ma-jigger’s hiding place.

  • Counting Around the House

    Skills:

    • Counting

    The purpose of this activity is to help your child explore numbers and counting, an important step toward learning how to add and subtract.

  • Curious George: Hands Down!

    Skills:

    • Counting

    Count with George using your hands!

  • Curious George: How Many Colors?

    Skills:

    • Counting

    Count different colored objects!

  • Cyberchase: 3-D Botopolis House

    Skills:

    • Shapes

    Transform a 2-D shape into a 3-D building with some strategic folding and gluing.

  • Cyberchase: Coin Toss

    Skills:

    • Counting,
    • Money

    Practice counting by ones, fives, and tens as you launch coins with a spoon.

  • Cyberchase: Padlock

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Numbers

    Crack the two-number code to open Hacker’s padlock.

  • Dinosaur Train: Balancing Act

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Turn your child into a human “balance scale” to compare the weights of different objects.

  • Dinosaur Train: Bridge Builder

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Counting,
    • Measurement

    Sheets of paper become pieces of wood as your child constructs a bridge for a hungry dino friend.

  • Dinosaur Train: Dino-mite Patterns

    Skills:

    • Letters,
    • Patterns

    Make patterns with letters!

  • Dinosaur Train: Shape Scavenger Hunt

    Skills:

    • Shapes,
    • Spatial Sense

    Hunt for hidden shapes and learn what makes each shape unique.

  • Dinosaur Train: Thirsty Dinosaurs!

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Explore the concept of capacity as you help thirsty dinosaurs of all sizes get the water they need.

  • Family Feet

    Skills:

    • Data Analysis,
    • Measurement

    Help your child compare different items and put them in order, estimate (guess) their sizes, and then measure to find out.

  • FETCH!: Birthday Calculator Math

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Numbers

    Use a calculator to solve a repeat addition problem and then solve the same problem with multiplication.

  • FETCH!: Keeping Track of My Day

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Creating a daily schedule helps kids organize events in a sequence and associate events with a time of day.

  • Fill It Up!

    Skills:

    • Measurement,
    • Spatial Sense

    Help your child compare different containers and how much liquid they hold.

  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab 2012: Lost in Greasy World!

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense

    Use spatial skills to put together a map that has been broken up into pieces.

  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab 2012: Measuring with Mixie-Bot

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Measure with a favorite character to understand the value of standardized units of measure, such as inches and feet.

  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab 2013: Fresh Pick Challenge: Lunch Counter

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Counting,
    • Money

    Help your child create a simple lunch counter where she can learn about dollars and cents and sharpen her business skills at the same time.

  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab 2013: Fresh Pick Challenge: Pantry Search

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense

    Put your child in charge of building a pantry that Corporal Cup would be proud of.

  • Fizzy’s Lunch Lab 2013: Fresh Pick Challenge: Logical Lunch

    Skills:

    • Deductive Reasoning,
    • Sorting and Classifying

    Use deductive reasoning skills to help Henry and Avril pack a perfect picnic lunch.

  • Home Collections

    Skills:

    • Patterns,
    • Shapes

    Collect small items from around the house and sort them in different ways.

  • Martha Speaks: Mixed-Up Headlines

    Skills:

    • Vocabulary,
    • Writing

    Explore a newspaper, and then give its headlines a creative makeover.

  • Martha Speaks: Sharing Family Stories

    Skills:

    • Storytelling

    Open up your family history book by connecting your child to a family story.

  • Martha Speaks: Silly Sentences

    Skills:

    • Vocabulary,
    • Writing

    Build vocabulary and writing skills by collecting “word bones” from a newspaper.

  • Martha Speaks: Silly Story Builder

    Skills:

    • Storytelling

    Create silly stories by drawing story parts out of a bag.

  • Number Cards

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Numbers

    Create a set of number cards from a cereal box with numerals and corresponding dots for a variety of games like "Count and Seek," "Count and Move," and "Which is More?"

  • Peg + Cat: Peg and Cat’s Incredibly Popular Honey Cake

    Skills:

    • Measurement,
    • Patterns

    There are lots of ways you can enjoy Peg + Cat’s “Super-Popular” Honey Cake! It’s delicious to eat and fun to decorate with fruity patterns.

  • Peg + Cat: Stick Puppets

    Skills:

    • Shapes

    These stick puppets, built from ovals, circles, semi-circles, rectangles, triangles, and trapezoids, help children identify basic shapes.

  • Peg + Cat: The Pirates’ “Great Banana” Fruit Salad

    Skills:

    • Counting,
    • Measurement,
    • Patterns

    This activity – and delicious recipe – helps children practice counting, dividing and sharing.

  • Play Dough Shapes

    Skills:

    • Measurement,
    • Shapes

    Make your own play dough and help your child identify shapes and make patterns.

  • Sid the Science Kid: Let's Measure!

    Skills:

    • Measurement

    Experiment with different sizes of non-standard units such as paperclips and pencils.

  • Sid the Science Kid: Searching for Symmetry

    Skills:

    • Shapes,
    • Spatial Sense

    Use folding paper cutouts and mirrors to investigate lines of symmetry.

  • Sorting At Home

    Skills:

    • Data Analysis,
    • Patterns

    Invite your child to help with the sorting you do every day during household chores.

  • Super Why: Cupcake Math

    Skills:

    • Measurement,
    • Numbers,
    • Patterns

    Cooking with kids is a great way to teach kids about measurement and help them learn the language of math.

  • Super Why: Number Memory

    Skills:

    • Numbers,
    • Words

    Play a memory game with numbers.

  • The Electric Company: Laugh-o-Graph

    Skills:

    • Data Analysis,
    • Measurement

    Create a laugh graph to rate your favorite jokes and figure out which one is the funniest.

  • The Electric Company: Pin the Word on the Target

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense,
    • Words

    Practice using position words to direct someone to an object's location.

  • The Electric Company: Reverse-a-Ball Word Challenge

    Skills:

    • Data Analysis,
    • Measurement,
    • Vocabulary

    Francine’s evil Reverse-a-Balls are scrambling words around your house. Help your child unscramble them.

  • The Electric Company: The Power of Zero

    Skills:

    • Counting,
    • Numbers,
    • Words

    Kids learn about place value while playing a fun card game.

  • Treasure Map

    Skills:

    • Shapes,
    • Spatial Sense

    Help your child develop his/her understanding of direction.

  • Up, Down, All Around: Location Words

    Skills:

    • Spatial Sense,
    • Words

    Play games and sing songs that help your child understand and use location words.

  • What's in the Bag?

    Skills:

    • Shapes,
    • Words

    Play a game where you and your child describe and name different shaped objects.

  • Wild Kratts: Adding Up Animal Habitats

    Skills:

    • Addition,
    • Subtraction

    Learn about local animals and their habitats while practicing basic math skills.

  • Wild Kratts: Bird Feeder Fractions

    Skills:

    • Fractions,
    • Measurement

    Have fun feeding your neighborhood birds while boosting your child’s measurement skills and introducing fractions.

  • Wild Kratts: Temperature Scavenger Hunt

    Skills:

    • Data Analysis,
    • Measurement,
    • Subtraction

    What are temperatures like where you live? Discover the many ways you measure temperature inside and outside your house.