Momhood Moments

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Integrating Math Into Everyday Home Activities

May 1, 2012

While getting your elementary kids interested in math can be as easy as buying math games for 4th grade students, there are also plenty of activities around the house that can make learning math fun. By integrating math into everyday activities in the home, children and some adults, may be surprised at how often math is used in our daily activities.

Many children often think that learning math isn’t very important. At school, they just listen to the teacher, practice what they’ve learned and take lots of tests. To most students none of this seems very interesting or like it would be very important in everyday life.
Most people use math throughout the day without thinking twice about it. By showing children how much we actually rely on it, they may start to realize that it is actually very important. There are probably plenty of activities they already enjoy doing at home that require basic math skills.

Cleaning, paying bills, doing home improvement projects, and even simple tasks like setting the table for dinner, all require basic math. With all of these activities to choose from there’s sure to be something to interest any child. The best way to get them involved would be to pick an activity they already enjoy, and probably not mention that they’ll be doing math. You can even let them count out change at the grocery store, or total up your bill when eating out.

Cooking uses a great deal of math and it’s probably one of the easiest tasks to get children to help out with. Younger children can help with simple tasks like counting eggs, and older children can help with things like measuring and cutting ingredients into halves and quarters. If they say they don’t want to help or don’t know how to do math, just try mentioning cookies.

Almost every child loves cookies. Mention that you’d like to make some, but need help doubling the recipe so you can make more. You’ll have an eager helper ready with pencil and paper before you can even get out the mixing bowls. Following a recipe requires using fractions, and by doubling a recipe, you’ll need to add and multiply fractions to make sure you measure correctly.

By getting a child involved in an activity such as baking cookies they won’t really be thinking about the fact that they’re doing math. They will probably be surprised at how less daunting those fractions seem when getting them right results in cookies.

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