Making Mathematics Fun!
10 Feb 2016
Let your child know how Mathematics can be applied in everyday activities. Encourage him/her to apply concepts by talking about the ways Mathematics can be used at home, at a supermarket or at the playground.
Counting is Fun!
Use objects around your house like coins, toys, spoons and forks etc, to practise counting. If the quantity is big, get your child to talk about the counting strategies he/she uses in counting.
I Can Tell a Maths Story!
Get your child to practise the use of mathematical language such as “altogether”, “left”, “share” and “group” etc by forming a story involving Mathematics. For instance, “I have 5 apples. I bought 7 oranges this morning. I have 12 fruits altogether.” When your child becomes good at it, you can move on to simple subtraction, multiplication and division stories.
Show a month from a calendar. Get your child to name a pattern he/she can see from the dates of the calendar month. Alternatively, get him/her to circle all the even numbers using one colour and all the odd numbers using another colour to observe a pattern.
I Spy Numbers Around Me
While out on a family trip, encourage your child to be aware of the numbers within the surrounding area by playing this simple activity. Parent says out, “I spy the number 367. Can you find it?” Get your child to point the number and say it out loud, “Three hundred and sixty-seven. The number is there on that car!” You can invite your child to ‘spy’ numbers on buses, on road signs, on advertisement boards and everywhere possible.
Shopping is Fun!
Get your child to help you in grocery shopping the next time you visit a supermarket. Pass him/her your grocery list. Get him/her to estimate the bill before paying for the groceries. Get him/her every opportunity to sharpen his/her estimation skills!
Money, Money, Money
Take some coins from your coin box. Get your child to form the least/most amount he/she can make with 5 coins. Alternatively, get him/her to show the different ways to form $1 with the coins given.
My Little Shop
You can get your child to set up a toy shop to sell his toys to his family members/friends. You can help him to determine the cost of the items. Each friend or family member will be given $20 to spend.
Angles, Angles, Everywhere!
Ask your child to point out objects in the house that have angles greater than 90º, less than 90º or exactly 90º
Give your child 3-D objects such as chocolate boxes, tins, gift boxes and containers. Lay each object with the flat surface on paper. Trace out the shape and get him/her to name and describe the shape.
Cut Me Out!
Demonstrate to your child how to do a symmetrical cut-out. Two examples are shown below. Get them to tell you where the lines of symmetry are.
Parallel, Parallel, Where are You?
Show your child a picture (buildings/ gates) that has shapes, perpendicular and parallel lines. Get them to count and identify them.
Shapes in Our House and Everywhere!
To get your child to recognise shapes (e.g. rectangle, square, triangle and circle), invite your child to identify objects within the house that has the shape that he/she learns in school. Encourage your child to outline the shape with his/her finger and talk about the shape on the object. Possible questions that you may ask; “What shape is it? Are there other shapes that you can find from this object and can you show them to me?” You can extend this activity by inviting your child to group the objects that have been identified according to the shapes.
While out on a family trip, provide the opportunity to get your child to recognise the shapes within his/her surrounding.
Cook it Right
Parents can get children to help out in the kitchen when cooking a meal or baking some cookies. Involve your child in measuring the amount of ingredients needed by using measuring cups and weighing scales. The actions of measuring the ingredients required will help your child to strengthen his/her estimation skills in Mathematics. Talk to your child about the appropriate measures, the abbreviations (e.g. g, kg, l and ml) and the mass (e.g. in terms of heavy, light, more and less than).
Get your child to scoop a tablespoon filled with flour. Next, weigh the flour. It should weigh about 25 grams. Look at a baking recipe. The mass of flour required should be in multiplies of 25, i.e. 100g, 125g, 150g, etc. Ask your child to scoop the approximate mass of flour required for a recipe. If the recipe requires 150g of flour, your child should tell you that he/she should scoop 6 tablespoons of flour. Then, get your child to weigh the flour to check. The mass should be about 150g.
Tell Me the Time
Build the positive habit of getting your child to tell you the time when doing the daily activities together. Possible scenario; “We are leaving at 1 p.m. for lunch and we need half an hour to get ready, how much time do we have now?” Parents can also take the opportunity to talk about time in terms of seconds, minutes and hours.
This activity can also be applied when you get your child to talk about days, months and years. Possible scenarios; “It is 2 weeks before your birthday can you tell me how many days that would be?”
Ratio and Percentage
Baking is Fun!
Look at a baking recipe. Usually, the recipe may state the number of servings. Supposedly, the recipe states the amount of each ingredients required for 5 serves. Tell your child that he/she and you are baking cakes for 10 people, get him/her to work out the amount of each ingredients in preparation for baking.
I am a Great Saver!
Show your child a newspaper article on different sale items. You can get them to calculate the original price of the items or the amount saved.