Many children who struggle with math might say they find it boring. And indeed, some math instruction may seem tedious for kids whose attention spans are still developing. In many cases, cool math activities for kids can remedy this disinterest.
Making math fun is not a new concept. Innovative teachers have turned to cool math activities for kids not only to break the monotony of worksheets and tests, but also as a regular part of the curriculum. Online tutoring programs incorporate fun concepts into their applications so that students look forward to getting on their iPads instead of dreading additional instruction. And parents are discovering ways of introducing cool math activities to kids at home. Here are four amazing math activities you can share with your children:
1. Lego math
Lego blocks have always been cool, but these days they are more popular than ever, even with older kids. Movies, television shows, video games, and board games featuring Legos are dominating the toy landscape, but the blocks themselves are still the main draw for many children. Applying Legos to math activities offers endless possibilities. Addition, multiplication, fractions, area, perimeter, arrays, and patterns are some of the math concepts that can be introduced into playtime with Legos.
2. Math Twister
Remember the classic game Twister? Spin the spinner, move your hand or foot to the appropriate color on the mat, and the fun ensues. With a little ingenuity, Twister can be turned into one of the cool math activities. If you own an extra Twister mat or can find a used one, write numbers with a marker on each of the spots (or turn the mat over and simply create your own spaces on the back).
- Assign an operation to each color on the spinner: perhaps blue for addition, green for subtraction, red for multiplication, and yellow for division.
- Have some equations ready, spin the spinner, and give your kids the problem. For example: “Right hand, 3+7.” The kids then figure out the right answer and move their body part to the appropriate number. Having the same numbers on the board more than once isn’t a bad idea so things don’t get crowded.
3. Create a math board game
Most board games use math to varying degrees, from basic counting in Sorry! to paying rent in Monopoly. With a large piece of posterboard, challenge your kids to devise and draw their own math board game. Encourage them to be creative and not just to use math (for example, a square that directs them to do 10 jumping jacks). The game can use any concepts or components they wish: dice, playing cards, equations, fractions, play money, and so on. When they have completed their new game, type up the directions for them—this gives their creation a sense of permanence and accomplishment.
4. Polygon art
Cool math for kids doesn’t necessarily need be all numbers. Get some construction paper and cut out dozens of shapes: triangles, squares, rhombuses, hexagons, and so on. Then, direct your children to create art from the polygons. Encourage them to make patterns and arrays, to use many different colors, or to fit as many of the shapes without overlapping into one sheet of paper. This is great for younger kids just learning their shapes, as well as older children who want to demonstrate their artistic ability.
What cool math for kids do your children enjoy?