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.
Practice measurement skills by building a house for a favorite toy or character like the Cat in the Hat.
Build a path out of pasta to help the Cat in the Hat get back together with his friends.
Grab a piece of string and go on a measuring expedition around the house.
Explore the many ways you can represent and count numbers.
Create a series of position clues to lead your child to a hidden “treasure.”
Find shapes around your house or neighborhood.
Use clues to help your child find the Thinga-ma-jigger’s hiding place.
The purpose of this activity is to help your child explore numbers and counting, an important step toward learning how to add and subtract.
Count with George using your hands!
Count different colored objects!
Transform a 2-D shape into a 3-D building with some strategic folding and gluing.
Practice counting by ones, fives, and tens as you launch coins with a spoon.
Crack the two-number code to open Hacker’s padlock.
Turn your child into a human “balance scale” to compare the weights of different objects.
Sheets of paper become pieces of wood as your child constructs a bridge for a hungry dino friend.
Make patterns with letters!
Hunt for hidden shapes and learn what makes each shape unique.
Explore the concept of capacity as you help thirsty dinosaurs of all sizes get the water they need.
Help your child compare different items and put them in order, estimate (guess) their sizes, and then measure to find out.
Use a calculator to solve a repeat addition problem and then solve the same problem with multiplication.
Creating a daily schedule helps kids organize events in a sequence and associate events with a time of day.
Help your child compare different containers and how much liquid they hold.
Use spatial skills to put together a map that has been broken up into pieces.
Measure with a favorite character to understand the value of standardized units of measure, such as inches and feet.
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.
Put your child in charge of building a pantry that Corporal Cup would be proud of.
Use deductive reasoning skills to help Henry and Avril pack a perfect picnic lunch.
Collect small items from around the house and sort them in different ways.
Explore a newspaper, and then give its headlines a creative makeover.
Open up your family history book by connecting your child to a family story.
Build vocabulary and writing skills by collecting “word bones” from a newspaper.
Create silly stories by drawing story parts out of a bag.
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?"
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.
These stick puppets, built from ovals, circles, semi-circles, rectangles, triangles, and trapezoids, help children identify basic shapes.
This activity – and delicious recipe – helps children practice counting, dividing and sharing.
Make your own play dough and help your child identify shapes and make patterns.
Experiment with different sizes of non-standard units such as paperclips and pencils.
Use folding paper cutouts and mirrors to investigate lines of symmetry.
Invite your child to help with the sorting you do every day during household chores.
Cooking with kids is a great way to teach kids about measurement and help them learn the language of math.
Play a memory game with numbers.
Create a laugh graph to rate your favorite jokes and figure out which one is the funniest.
Practice using position words to direct someone to an object's location.
Francine’s evil Reverse-a-Balls are scrambling words around your house. Help your child unscramble them.
Kids learn about place value while playing a fun card game.
Help your child develop his/her understanding of direction.
Play games and sing songs that help your child understand and use location words.
Play a game where you and your child describe and name different shaped objects.
Learn about local animals and their habitats while practicing basic math skills.
Have fun feeding your neighborhood birds while boosting your child’s measurement skills and introducing fractions.
What are temperatures like where you live? Discover the many ways you measure temperature inside and outside your house.