Math practice doesn’t have to be boring!
You can help the kids have tons of fun while practicing their math by creating or using math games to liven up the lessons or review. These are perfect for summer brush-ups, too, and parents will want to jump on this bandwagon to keep the kids from moving backwards over the long summer vacation.
Games are simply more motivating than traditional “let’s sit at the table and do worksheets or say flashcards” mode of practice. Kids will be more cooperative if not downright eager to put in the necessary practice time to keep skills fresh over vacation or anytime at all.
It’s easy to get going with math games, even if you’re not a trained teacher or experienced homeschooler. Just choose a skill that your child needs to practice. In the area of math, this could be basic operations, working with fractions or decimals, problems with percents, time or money practice, or nearly any other concept taught in math (and yes, the middle schoolers and high schoolers can get in on the action with more complex concepts in their games).
Here’s a simple idea. Make a plain trail game board in a file folder. You know the kind: starting line, finish line, and a curvy path that goes between the two. Add a few penalty and bonus spaces like “go back 1″ or “take an extra turn.” Decorate the board with your child’s favorite theme and voila! You’ve got yourself a handy generic learning tool. Now, for each child who will be playing, create a deck of question cards. These could be simply math problems to answer or trivia questions about math skills at their level. They could have story problems or math related stunts or tasks (like ‘find the area of a paper towel’). You’ll need about twice as many cards as you have spaces on your game board. Borrow a die and a few pawns from another game, and you’re all set to play!
Players take turns tossing the die and then choosing a card from their stack. If they can answer the question, they can move the number of spaces indicated on the die. If not, they have to wait a turn and try again. Of course, the first person to the finish line wins the game. That’s all there is to it!
So have you caught the Math Games Bug? There are tons more ideas in the Making Math More Fun series! These books literally offer hundreds of game and activity ideas suitable for elementary students of all abilities and levels. Author Teresa Evans is offering tons of bonuses right now, too, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. Pop on over to Making Math More Fun.com and you’ll see what I mean. That’s my affiliate link, so your purchase is a great way to support this site, and I thank you!
Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you’ve got an education or learning question!! I’m ready and waiting to help you out….