It's tough to fit it all in: homework, playtime, errands, afterschool activities. At any given moment, I'm always feeling a bit pulled. Anyone else with me? Since Kiddo has been in school, I'm always wondering if we are doing enough at home - reading for long enough, practicing skills as we should, exercising enough...you know, the usual Mom woes.
That's why I loved what her kindergarten teachers would always remind us to do: use the world as her school. Everywhere we go, whether running errands or just playing at home, discover fun ways to tap into mental muscles. Lately, we've been tackling those math skills like addition, subtraction, good number sense, you get the idea. Luckily, there are so many ways just living and playing can exercise math muscles.
Break out the board games and puzzles. You may not think playing Sorry! or Crazy 8s is doing math, but it is. Whether counting spaces or comparing and contrasting numbers, board games and card games that use numbers as a base (instead of colors) give a huge boost to those math skills. Same with puzzles - figuring out what piece goes where enforces spacial reasoning.
Play store. Setting up a pet shop or restaurant in her room and having pretend money to spend is a perfect backdrop to slip in math games. If she wants to buy five stuffed kitties and they each cost two dollars, how much money does she need?
Watch sports. While watching your favorite football team play on Sunday or rooting for big brother as he plays baseball on Thursday, incorporate some math fun into your rah-rah-rahs. If New Orleans has 13 points and Drew Brees scores a touchdown for six, what's their score now?
Guessimate it! When heading up and down the aisles of the supermarket, have the kids guess how much the total cost of the groceries will be. Call out prices and see if they can keep a running tally in their minds.
What math games do your kids like to play?