Think about your experience in school. Did you find sitting at your desk answering flash card after flash card a fun experience? Ok, there are, admittedly, some teachers that make this exciting for some kids who simply love math, in all shapes and forms, but for the vast majority, this is akin to torture. Yet your child needs to know basic math facts well in order to excel in math. So what can you do? Here are some ideas you can use at home to make math drills fun.
1. Clip in the Blanks
Take some craft sticks and paint them in bright colors. Write equations on them, staying consistent with different families. So, if you are working on 10s, you would write all of the addition facts that add up to 10. On each fact, leave out one of the addends, such as “5 + ____ = 10”
Next, grab some clothespins and write the missing addends on them. Mix these all up, and instruct your child to clip the correct addend on the craft stick. This gives tactile practice while still enforcing the drills your child needs.
2. Make It Digital
Taking a less enthralling topic, like math drills, and turning it into a digital game instantly makes it more fun. You can do this by investing in a tablet-based learning app.
Finding a math learning app is not the biggest challenge, as they are abundant. Finding one that works well and enforces math facts properly is the real challenge. Look first for an app that is colorful and uses game-like features to encourage the kids to want to play and earn rewards. Then, look for a program that is designed by qualified teachers. Having math teachers behind the system ensures that it takes kids through the right learning sequence as it drills math facts. Finally, look for a system that provides instruction at the point of learning, rather than simply telling kids what they did wrong when they are finished. Thinkster Math meets all of these criteria.
3. Addition War
Do you have a couple of deck of cards at home? Remove the face cards, and let your kids play addition war to drill their math facts.
Addition war is played the same as classic war, with one variation. Instead of flipping over one card, each player flips two cards, which they add or multiply together and announce the result. The one with the highest sum or product wins and collects the other players’ cards. Play continues until one player has either all of the cards or a large enough pile that the other players concede the game.
If the sums or products are the same, a “war” ensues. Players turn three cards face down and then flip two more cards face up, again adding or multiplying and choosing the highest answer as the winner.
As you can see, math drills do not have to be a bore. With a little creativity and some basic materials, you can practice math facts with your kids at home, and have fun doing it too!