15 Math Games to Spark Your Children’s Interest
Earlier this week, we discussed how math anxiety can negatively impact your children’s perception of math and how those difficulties could affect their future. One way to reduce, or even prevent, math anxiety among your children is by presenting math as a fun activity.
We have compiled a list of fun and engaging math games to play with your children to foster a love for learning math.
1. Play with Tangrams
With help from a tangram worksheet from PBS Kids, your children can have fun using the cutouts to make a variety of shapes, including squares, triangles, rectangles and more.
2. Game of Dots
Help your children work on their fine motor skills by playing a game of Dots with this handy worksheet. Take turns with your children when connecting two dots by a horizontal or vertical line. Whenever a player completes a square, write the initial of the player in the square and allow that player an additional turn. Once all the dots have been connected, count the number of square each player has.
3. Play with Money
Using quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, practice your children’s math skills by figuring out all of the ways to reach $1.00. As an alternative, set up a small shop and ask your children to use their coins to buy small toys and candy.
You could also help teach your children about probability by flipping a coin. Flip one or two coins at a time, and use a pencil and paper to keep track to determine how often the coin lands heads or tails.
4. Roll Dice
Help your children practice their math skills (addition for the younger children, multiplication for the old ones) by rolling dice. For increased difficulty, roll 3 or more dice instead of just two.
5. Play Yahtzee
Yahtzee is a fun, dice game that’s perfect for practicing math skills. Not only will it help your children practice counting, but it also helps them develop their critical thinking skills.
6. Count by 2s, 3s, 4s, or more
If your children have mastered the basic counting skills, encourage them to “skip count” or count by 2s or 3s. Practicing this activity will help prepare them learn how to multiply numbers.
7. Number Guess
Ask your children to write down a number between 1 and 30. Then try to guess the number by asking a series of questions such as “Is it even or odd?” or “Is it less than 10?” Have your children try to guess a number that you think of once you correctly guess the number.
8. Money Match
Ask each player to roll a number cube and give each child the number of pennies shown on the dice. When the child reaches 5 or 10 cents, he or she can trade the pennies in for a nickel or dime. Once a player reaches 20 cents (or 2 dimes), the game is over.
9. Super Sums
Using standard playing cards numbered 1 through 6, have each child take turns drawing cards. After each draw, the player decides whether to use the number on the card in the tens place or the ones place. Once 6 cards are drawn, the players must add up the numbers to come close to one hundred without going over.
10. Tell Time
Invite your children to practice their math skills using an analog clock. Ask your children to calculate what a ½ an hour is, how many minutes are in an hour and how many minutes are in 3 hours.
11. Bubble Pop
As a fun outdoor activity, ask your children to count the number of bubbles that you blow and how many they pop. As an added challenge, have your children guess the number of bubbles that will form and how many they can pop.
12. How Tall
Using a ruler or small objects like a ball, have your children measure the height of these objects. Be sure to keep track of their measurements using a pen and paper. Once the measurements are complete, ask your children to compare the heights of each object.
13. Fair Shares
For a sneaky way to practice division, use coins, small toys or treats. Ask your children to distribute the objects evenly among each player.
14. Trip Tracking
If your children always ask the question, “Are we there yet?” while traveling, try this fun activity on your next trip. Ask your children to estimate how long it would take to get to your destination. Have your children determine the actual time it took to reach your destination with the use of a timer or a stopwatch. They’ll be able to see the accuracy of their own guesses.
For older children, have them determine the average MPH (miles per hour) of your trip by dividing the number of miles traveled by how long it took to reach your destination.
15. Build Tower Blocks
Ask your budding architects to build a tower block using as many blocks as they can in 60 seconds. Once time is up, count how many blocks are in each block tower.
Which of these fun, math activities will you be doing with your children?