Maths. It’s one of those subjects your children either love or hate.
For some, getting their head around number patterns, learning their times tables, and mastering long division is just too much to bear. But maths has been considered ‘boring’ for far too long.
It’s such a valuable subject, that teaches your children skills for life. Skills they will need to employ almost every day in their adult life. So it’s time to start a revolution. It’s time we started celebrating maths and making it fun.
Here, are five fun resources you can use – either at school or in the home – to make learning maths a blast:
We’re witnessing a technology boom, and children of all ages know their way around an iPhone or iPad better than many adults. If this sounds like your kids, you should embrace their tech-savvy nature and make maths fun with an app or two.
There are plenty of apps for children of all ages and abilities, making this a great aid for many parents. A quick browse of the app store on your mobile or tablet will bring up a plethora of free and paid for apps, designed at teaching different skills.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for though, this post from Maths Insider lists some of the best.
2. The Internet
If you don’t own a tablet but still want to make the most of these more modern methods, the World Wide Web is by far your biggest ally.
There are a whole host of websites and online games designed to make maths fun; many of which, your children won’t even see as learning. Again, do your research and find out the best ones for your child’s age and ability, but you won’t be short on options.
Mashable recently posted their pick of ‘5 Fun Ways to Help Children Learn Maths Online’. You can check that out here for some inspiration and places to start.
3. The TV
Believe it or not, your kids can get clued up on maths by watching the TV.
Children’s television has always had a strong focus on learning, but this has only increased in recent years. Now, your kids can watch some great programmes that are all geared towards making maths – and other subjects – fun and interesting.
There are also a number of dedicated revision services and programmes available via your television which can be a great aid for older children. The TV is a great maths teaching aid as it doesn’t really feel like learning, but you’d be surprised at what your children pick up on.
(Check out Maths Insider’s cool and funky You Tube maths recommendations for Kindergarten kids.)
Some children learn better by ‘doing’, which is where these more tangible maths aids come in. Games like Times Table Snap, Primary Numbers Bingo and Fraction Towers are all great ways you and your children can play and learn together.
There is also a lot to be said for ‘playing shop’ with your children. Write a price list for things you can buy from their ‘shop’ and ask them to be shop keeper. Do your shopping and ask them to tally up the amount in their head. You can then get them to work out how much change you’re owned and what coins they could give you.
This is fun and something you can do for real if you take your children along when you do the weekly shop. These aids can be brought online or in local toy stores and are a must-have for parents looking to make learning maths more fun.
(Maths Insider shares some excellent parent tested maths board games here)
Never underestimate the power – or fun – of a good workbook.
Some children will prefer this method of learning as it is similar to how they’re taught at school. You can get loads of work books aimed at different age groups online, and go through them with your little ones.
Choose ones with bright colours, loads of images and plenty of variety. If you can work through the more fun games and puzzles, you will be able to foster a love of maths. You should also buy puzzle books like Sudoku’s and other number puzzles for your children. They keep the brain active, and are a great way of learning new skills.
There are plenty of fun resourcess for learning maths that you can purchase for your children, and a whole host of ways you change your kids’ perception of the subject. Sure it can be hard at times, but it is a hugely important subject and one that can be fun when you look at it a new way.
Clare Evans is writing on behalf of Core Assets, the largest private agency for fostering in the UK, and recent winner of the Global Diversity Award 2013.