Practicing math should be a part of your child’s daily routine just like reading a book, but it should also be quick and painless. Here are 8 easy and speedy daily habits to try to include in your day-to-day life with your child. These will help boost their math skill and make math easier and more fun for them now and in the future! Don’t stress about hitting all of them every day, even just one a day is great!
1. Counting! Letterbox numbers, trees, cars, dogs...
Counting is a really great way to use math on the go. As you’re walking or driving to school, try collectively count things you observe around your neighbourhood.
2. Comparing questions
Comparison questions are great for all ages because you can tailor the difficulty!
- Which is bigger, the elephant or the donkey?
- Don has 3/4 of a pizza left but Jess has 4/6 of a pizza left, who has more pizza?
3. Shape finding
Geometry is everywhere. Architecture and nature. One fun game you can play with kids is to get them to find all the circles or squares in the house. You can even let them take photos of them all to collect them together. With older kids, you can ask them to find more complex shapes like parallelograms or octagons.
4. Time questions
What is the time? What will the time be in 5 minutes? What will the time be in 2 hours and 24 minutes? There are endless ways of incorporating time questions into your day! This is really helpful in building up your child’s concept of time but also basic addition and subtraction within a bit of a tricky context (sixty minutes to an hour can be hard for kids to learn).
5. Sharing (division) questions
Sharing is an important part of children’s lives and making sure sharing is fair is even more important! Ask kids to split food or toys into groups, or between siblings. Getting them to go through the process of dividing sets themselves is the first step towards division!
With older kids, you can make it more complicated by dividing up wholes into fractions or using hypothetical scenarios.
6. Find something to measure
Getting a household thermometer is a great way to practice measurement as it’s something that changes every day. There are lots of other things you can measure around the house too, the weight of 1 cup of flour vs 1 cup of rice vs 1 cup of stones! You can measure the widths and heights of various objects. You can even challenge your kids to each find the closest object to a certain length!
Look out the window at a grey and rainy day. Is it more likely that it’s going to rain this afternoon or be sunny?
You can also practice probability with dice. We have a whole blog post on the most likely dice role combinations and why!
8. Pattern finding
Pattern finding is often quite natural for kids. They start to notice odds and evens, things organised in certain ways, etc. Pattern finding can be practiced with numbers: write out a set of numbers in a pattern (e.g. 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 ) and ask your child to tell you what the next number will be. You can also do this with shapes or even emojis! 🚙 🏠 🌳🏠 🌳 🚙 🏠 🌳🏠 🌳 🚙 🏠 🌳
All of these are great ways to increase the amount of maths that your child engages with and is exposed to on a daily basis. This will serve as an amazing foundation for them as they progress with learning more about the world and how it works!