Fun, family, festivity and math? Believe it or not, the winter holiday period is the perfect time to give your child a boost in their math. Take a look at these 8 practical ideas to keep your child’s math skills fresh this holiday season:
1. Pre and Post Holiday Shopping
Let your child help you with last-minute gift buying. Give them a budget and let them research online for good value suitable gifts. After the holidays, put your child in charge of their gift cards and holiday cash and let them produce a bargain hunting plan of action to make the most of the post holiday sales.
2. Holiday Cooking
Whether it’s the Thanksgiving Turkey or the Christmas Lunch, let your child help you plan the all important festive meal. There’s plenty of kitchen preparation math in everything from calculating the cooking time for the Turkey, to estimating the quantity of vegetables for the side dishes, to working out cooking times for various dishes so that they’re ready to be served on time. Share with your child the math strategies you use to create that perfect meal!
3. Give a Math Gift
Only the keenest young mathematicians would be pleased with a brand new calculator or math T-Shirt as a gift. However gifts such as a math story book, a fun facts and figures book, such as the Guinness World Records, will intrigue children of all ages. A new analogue watch for an elementary child who is learning to tell the time or a robotics kit for a teenager are also great math gifts.
4. Plan a Trip
Google maps is a great tool for investigating travel times and journey distances. See if your child can use Google Maps, along with their math and logic skills to get your family to your holiday destination on time.
5. Visit a Museum
If you live near New York City you’ve got no excuse to not visit the recently opened Museum of Math. The rest of us can research math related exhibits and workshops at our local science centers, or just wander the science and art museums and highlight the different ways mathcan be seen in both science and art.
6. Grab a Board Game
Pause the Playstation and dig out that dust covered Monopoly board or Chess Set. Many family board games involve at least a small element of math, whether it’s using calculations to work out points in a game of Scrabble or the strategies needed to conquer in Parcheesi.
7. Play a Math Travel Game
Road trips and airport delays are a hallmark of the holiday season. Younger children can have some math fun by counting the number of different colored cars on the road, while older kids can practise their arithmetic by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing numbers on flight boarding cards or speed limit signs. If you are on a flight another interesting exercise is to find the number of seats in an airplane by using multiplication and addition.
8. Review and Get ahead
Speak to your child’s teacher about which topics your child needs to review over the holiday period and which topics will be coming up in the coming year. Thinkster members can share this information with their child’s Thinkster coach who can then add suitable worksheets to their child’s Thinkster assignments.
Thinkster Math’s individually tailored iPad based worksheets are a great way to boost your child’s math over the holiday season and throughout the year. They cover the whole curriculum from measurements to multiplication including essential holiday season topics such as problem solving and money!