6 Ways to Use Beans to Practice Math - Kumon

6 Ways to Use Beans to Practice Math

Making math a fun activity for children can sometimes be a little tricky. However, we have compiled six ways to instill a love of math in your children while celebrating National Bean Day on January 6!

1. Bean Subtraction

Using 10-15 beans, or 5-10 for younger children, have your them count out the number of beans being used to play the game. Ask your children to close their eyes while you divide that number of beans between your hands. For example, if you have nine beans, hide four beans in one hand and five in the other. Have them open their eyes and count the number of beans in one hand. Then invite your children to figure how many beans are in the other hand.

2. Sixty Second Beans

Pile a number of beans on a table next to an empty bowl. Give your children sixty seconds to move as many beans as they can to the bowl and count the number of beans once the sixty seconds are up. Be sure to keep track of how many beans they can move each time they play.

3. Shake Those Beans

Have your children color one side of ten beans blue and the other side red. Once both sides are dry, put the 10 beans in a small container and shake. Then dump the beans out and separate the beans by color and create addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems using the given numbers.

4. Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Use a marker to label twelve beans 1 – 12. Cut a small hole into a juicebox slightly larger than the beans being used for the game and place the twelve beans inside. Shake the box until two beans come out and record the numbers written on the beans. Place two beans back inside and shake again until two more beans come out and record the numbers. Continue shaking out 2 beans out at least 8 more times, recording the numbers written on the beans each time. Ask your children which number appeared the most often and least often.

5. Bean Throw

Using a large number of beans and a bowl, have your children throw 1- 5 beans a time into the bowl while calling out the total number of beans in the bowl. For example, if one child throws two beans, he or she should call out “2.” Then if the next player throws 4 beans into the bowl, he or she should call out “6.” Keep playing until you run out of beans or reach 50 total beans in the bowl.

6. Egg Carton Addition

On the bottom of an empty egg carton, write the numbers 1 – 12. Then place two beans inside and have your children shake the egg carton. After opening the carton, add or multiply the two numbers printed on the bottom of the cups that each bean landed in. Then have your children record the sums until they reach fifty.

Which of these fun, math activities will you be playing with your children? For more ways to make math fun, visit 15 Math Games to Spark Your Children’s Interest.