The new school year is back in full swing! But, while the weather is still warm and the great outdoors are calling, the best way to learn math may be under the big blue sky. So here are a few math games to help your kids practice their math skills before autumn really sets in!
1) Fire Hose Math
Materials: Chalk, a wall, water guns, a wall/fence, a timer (can be you counting), paper, hat.
- Write down a few age appropriate equations on a piece of paper and put them in a hat.
- Have the answers written on a wall in chalk.
- Pick an equation out of a hat and read out the question.
- Your child/children should hose down the answer.
- Children can either compete with who hoses down the answer first, or you can set a timer which encourages them to work on their math speed.
2) Beach Ball Facts
Materials: A whiteboard marker (non-permanent), a colorful blow-up beach ball.
- Write different age-appropriate equations (no answer) on the beach ball.
- Get your children to throw the ball to each other.
- They must answer the equation that their hand touches first, as quickly as possible.
- Wipe the ball down and start again when every equation has been answered.
Materials: Chalk, pavement.
- Draw a hopscotch design on the pavement.
- Instead of filling the squares with 1-10, have your children practice skip counting or multiplication on the squares (you can label them 4, 8, 12, 16, or start at a number like 80 and go upwards).
- Play hopscotch the regular way, and encourage your child to read each number they land on.
4) Treasure Hunt (preschool kids)
Materials: Treasure (beads or something cheap) or 15 numbered items
- Hide “treasure” around your house and yard.
- Ask your children to count how much treasure they have found.
- Ask them to rank who has collected the most treasure.
- If you are teaching your child basic numeracy, assign each child a number (of the 15 numbered items) to look for.
- Once the numbered items have been found ask your children to place them in order.
- Count who has the most items and declare them a winner.
5) Hula Hoop times table
Materials: A hula hoop, bowl or hat, pad of paper, timer
- Write down a list of multiplication tables your child has learned this year on separate pieces of paper and put them into the hat.
- Get one person to pull a number out of the hat and get the child with the hoop to recite the multiplication table of that number, as they hula.
- Use a timer so there is no stalling.
- Stop once the hoop is dropped.
- Another participant should be writing the recited numbers down, to make sure they are correct.
- Take turns. The person with the highest correct sequence of numbers will win.
Sources: Coffeecupsandcrayons.com, Education.com, Playfullearning.net
Marina Gomer is a journalist and mother of two. She lives with her family in Sydney, Australia.