When you have a first grader, waiting in a restaurant for your food can be torture. Six-year-olds simply don’t do waiting well. Why not make the waiting fun with some 1st grade math games? Here are some simple ideas to consider.
First graders are still working on counting, especially counting by 2s, 3s and 5s. Restaurants provide many things to count. From the creamers on the table to the number of people in line in front of you when waiting at a fast food restaurant. Add a little bit of subtraction by asking “how many people will be there when one is done?”
Classifying refers to grouping things according to different properties, and this is an important 1st grade math concept. The number of classification opportunities in a restaurant is nearly limitless. You can classify the coins in your pocket, the people in the restaurant and the cars in the parking lot. Here are some questions you can ask to help encourage your child to classify:
- Which cars have two doors?
- How many people have hats on?
- How many decorations can you find that are based on animals?
Patterns are another major aspect of 1st grade math. Students need to be able to identify and then continue patterns. This concept gives you one of the easiest 1st grade math games to play with your child. The great thing about this game is that you can simply grab your napkin and a pen and work on these patterns while waiting at a restaurant. Start simple, with just a pattern of shapes, then make it increasingly complex to challenge your child’s thinking.
Identify patterns as well. On your trip to the restroom, look at the tile. Does it have a pattern? Help your child identify it. Let your child make some patterns as well, and see if you can continue them.
Sure, you didn’t bring your ruler to the restaurant with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play a few measurement games. Part of 1st grade math includes learning how to measure using a variety of units, not just inches and centimeters. You can use your hand or even your finger width to measure various things on your table. Add some estimation to the game by asking how many the child thinks it will take to measure the item.
Don’t forget about using the time waiting for your food at a restaurant to tap into tablet-based instruction. Tablet math programs, like Thinkster Math, are interesting to children and keep their attention while waiting. These programs use important 1st grade math concepts, offering instruction at the point of learning for the most effective teaching. If you are struggling to come up with 1st grade math games to keep your child engaged, or if the wait is getting way too long, make the most of it with the help of iPad based tutoring.