Saturday, September 3, 2011

Everyone LOVES Math...REALLY?

Who loves math? For those of you who are actually good at math and don't mind it, don't answer that question. Unfortunately there are those of us who hate math, as I do hate math and I am not one to say I enjoy it at all, I was taught that even though you hate a subject you should always be enthusiastic about it and make it fun. How to make math fun, well there are a number of ways actually to make math fun. How you may ask, the answer is simple physical hands on materials that are available to children that can encourage them to practice their math and here is the kicker they won't even know that they are practicing because they will be too engaged in the activity.

For the really little kids its really simple actually, start with colored envelopes inside each envelope put 1 button in the first envelope and each time increasing the number of buttons that are placed in the envelopes(you can change the buttons to any item that will fit in the envelope). Because younger children need to start learning their 123's and ABC's this will be a great way to help them recognize numbers. I then take all the envelopes and number them according to the number of buttons inside. I then tape the envelopes in different areas of the house (the reason why this is fun, is because they get to run around...) for two year old's lets say, walk with them and find the first envelope saying number one and then have the child look inside and say one, as they get older to about three year old's let them find the envelopes, at this point they don't have to be in order just as long as they can find the envelope and get close to the number order as possible. By the time they are close to four years old they should be able to find the correct number on the envelope and in order.

As children get older this game maybe to simple for them so try to include math problems on a small note card with a hidden clue of where to find the next missing envelope. This gives you a chance to practice addition with them and then eventually subtraction, multiplication and division, soon after you will be able to mix the problems. This will still keep them engaged and fun.
You may think it takes time but honestly it takes maybe 20 min tops if I have all the materials on hand and the children are not looking at where I hide the envelopes. I have even included word problems as a challenge.

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