The application of numbers and mental arithmetic is everywhere in our lives, and there are so many ways to make arithmetic learning at home fun and so easy. These fun and educational games will make your child love numbers. Try them out now!
- Stepping The Floor Tiles
This activity is great for children who are kinesthetically-inclined – children who are physically active (literally, they think better on their feet). Many children who learn the abacus can relate to this simple activity that you can re-create in your own home.
In a room filled with floor tiles – designate different tiles to represent a number (large tiles contains 5 points, small tiles contains 1 point; different colored tiles can also represent different numbers). Get your child to make his way across the room with only 50 points. Change the parameters by either increasing or decreasing the total number of points of the floor tiles or the total number of points your child has to work with.
To increase the level of difficulty, you could add in layers, such as the learning of the timetables by having each tile represent that number (be it 4 or 6 or 9). The concept behind this game is similar to how the abacus functions.
- Daily Home Situations
This activity complements your child’s understanding on how mental arithmetic can be applied in any real-life situations. In turn, it has a spillover effect on your child having a better understanding and confidence to solve problems in school.
Open the fridge and have your child point out how certain ingredients are measured. For example, how is milk measured? How is ham weighed?
Have your child observe measurements in everyday items that he/she comes in contact with. How much is 1 litre of your child’s favorite drink? If one cup of your child’s favorite drink is 200 ml, how many times cups are needed to finish 1 litre of that drink?
Too hard for your child to understand the concept of hundreds and thousands? Use ice cream sticks or bars that come in those box packaging in supermarkets to help them instead. Children love ice cream shopping so this is an activity your child will definitely enjoy. Let your child know how many sticks one box has, and get him/her to calculate the days when you will need to visit the supermarket again. Next time, your child will start to calculate even before deciding to buy that ice cream. Another good skill to have, isn’t it? 😉
- Multiplication & Division Arithmetic
Multiplication training for your child can be practiced while you are preparing your meals for your family. Give your child a chance to calculate for you the number of cutleries required on the table, the amount of food required for cooking etc…
Ask your child to help you set the table, or he/she can be your assistant whenever you cook up a meal for the family. For example, during breakfast, prepare slices of bread and ask this question, “if each of your family member will eat 3 slices of bread, how many slices of bread should be prepared?”
Using a plate to group up the slices of bread for your family members and getting your child to count out the total required for the whole family will help him/her to visualize the concept of multiplication easily. Try using finger food, chopsticks, utensils, plate, to help your child understand the multiplication tables better.
You can also apply this concept the other way around by preparing a certain number of items and getting your child to separate these out equally for your family members. Your child will learn concepts of multiplication and division this way as well.
- Daily Outdoors Situations
As numbers can be found everywhere in our daily life, you can use them to have a mental sum competition with your child. This competition of who can calculate faster is an activity that your child will find fun! Not only does it help your child to train his/her mental capabilities, it also helps him/her understand that numbers are fun to play with. This exercise requires you to have a good number sense in order to compete with your child.
If you own a vehicle, get your child to calculate the sum of all the digits of your car plate license number. If not, fret not, find a random vehicle that you can see on the road (bus, trains, trucks, etc…) and challenge your child to see who can calculate faster and who has the right answer.
Increase the difficulty by introducing double-digit computation. This also allows your child to build on his/her focus and attention span as he/she will need to split the numbers into portions to do the calculations.
Bored with counting the numbers on a vehicle license plate? Try your house contact number or your handphone number instead.
These educational games encourage discipline in fun and engaging ways. The path to success for arithmetic mastery lies in the discipline to practice everyday. Playing is a large part of a child’s life so why not make arithmetic learning fun for them?
Published on 6th October 2017