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Children are usually perennially petrified of maths. It is the subject that poses one of the greatest problems to children and most of the time, it is because of lack of attention paid to honing mathematical skills. There are a lot of activities that parents and even teachers could undertake to make mathematics fun for children. Children use math skills throughout their lives, whether they like it or not. However, for some reason, there are a lot of people who do not like the subject at all. Why is it so?
1. Logical usage: Maths involves high usage of logic. This means that children need to be trained how to be logical from a young age, or they are not going to be able to get the natural aptitude for mathematics.
2. Lack of interest: Children need to develop interest in mathematics, but this seldom happens. They just look at the tough sums and the complicated books and they are usually turned off from the subject.
3. Teachers’ and parents’ role: At a young age, teachers and parents need to do what they can to make sure that the children develop interest in mathematics. Without the participation of two most important adult figures, children will not be able to develop a healthy liking for the subject at all.
What we need is to make mathematics fun for children. Maths is everywhere, but people think that the only way any math can be done is by sitting down with a calculator and a book. Even before kids start off with school, they learn a little about addition, subtraction etc. through their daily activities. Informal activities like these are fun and these are the activities that would make children interested in learning maths.
So, what are the different ways to make mathematics fun for children? There are plenty such activities!
Math activities for children
1. Take a walk: Math need not be on paper, as we said. So, when you take a walk with your child, you can actually do a lot to develop mathematical skills in children. You can just take a walk around the neighbourhood with the child and compare and notice various things that could be related to maths (such as which stone is bigger, how many steps are there on the footbridge, are there more red cars than yellow ones etc). By going on a walk, you can also teach children about distance.
2. Use pictures: If you want to hone children’s mathematical skills you can certainly make use of pictures as well. Show a picture to your child for a particular period of time and make them tell you how many of a particular thing they saw (such as people, how far was the tree from the people etc.)
3. Learn shapes: Shapes also form an important part of maths, for they indicate geometry of the structure. So, when you are at home or taking a walk with your child, point out different structures and make the child guess which structure is shaped like what- whether it is circular, triangular, conical, etc.
4. Sing numbers and tables: If your child is really young and he or she has not managed to conquer the numbers yet, it would be better for you to teach the child the numbers through song. Musical patterns can be used to enforce mathematical patterns as well and this can develop mathematical skills in children. This will also make the child remember numbers and tables for a longer period of time.
5. Use calendars: Calendars can come in really handy to make children learn simple addition, subtraction etc. Take today’s date and make the child find out how many days are left till its birthday, or Christmas. With the help of calendar, one is not just going to hone children’s mathematical skills, one can also hone logical thinking among children.
6. Make smaller children help set the table: There are some dinner items that are used in ones, there are some that are used in twos. So, when you ask your child to help set the table, he/she would be adding and subtracting all the time, while setting the table for the family. So, he/she gets the chores done and manages to get some addition and subtraction done as well.
7. Use blocks for learning maths and geometry: Blocks can build logical thinking and help people develop an ingrained sense of geometry as well. Stacking boxes or blocks one on top of the other and making sure that they don’t fall can help people figure out the properties of different shapes of blocks. If you want the child to have a greater geometry related challenge, throw some cylindrical or conical structures in as well. This way, they can learn the properties of all these structures and develop interest in mathematics as well.
8. Use ribbons: You can use ribbons to teach length and shortness of things. Make them arrange things from the longest to shortest, from thinnest to fattest and make them understand the big and small of it all.
9. Use crafts to teach some maths: It is possible to encourage math activities among children with the help of some craft items. Encouraging the children to make some different geometrical patterns out of the craft sheet, in different numbers and putting them together to form something comprehensive would not just be an imaginative course for them, it can also make them understand some good geometrical elements as well.
10. Graphing fun: Graphs can be really fun and with the help of this, the children can also learn things about averages and such. So, you can just pick some really simple topic and make the child represent the same through graphs. Just pick the days the child has eggs for breakfast or the days he has toast, and make him mark all these days. After a month or so, make him find out whether he has had more toast or more eggs in that month, and on what average.