Today, we’re going to look at ways that you can improve your child’s skills in math. Before we do, there’s one question you might be wondering: why does your child need to be good at math?
In all honesty, this is one of the most important subjects for children to learn. If your child can get a good grip on maths and numeracy from a young age, it will help them throughout their lives. Almost everything you do will involve numbers and simple math skills. Going to the shops requires quick addition to work out how much things cost. When your child works, they need to know how to count up their hours. Further down the line, they have to work out things like percentages for taxes or mortgage loans. Life revolves around math, whether we like it or not!
With that in mind, what can you do to make your child a math whizz from a young age?
Bring them into the kitchen
One of the easiest ways a parent can teach basic maths to a child is by bringing them into the kitchen. Here, you can do all sorts of things that teach your child a few of the most important pre-k math concepts and skills – like counting and addition/subtraction. Simply get your child to count up ingredients for you, slowly building their confidence. Baking is always a great place to start as kids love it because it’s a bit messy and they have a treat at the end. So, ask your child to get three eggs for you, meaning they have to count them from the carton.
Stuff like this is easy to do in the kitchen, and you can gradually get them to do harder things. Do you need to weigh some flour? Ask your child to do it, meaning they have to read a scale and recognize when it hits the desired number. You can also ask questions as you bake, helping them with additional skills. For instance, ask them things like if we need two cups of water and one cup of flour, how many cups total is that? It’s a simple addition equation that helps them learn how to add things up.
Take them shopping
As mentioned earlier, you will need basic math skills when shopping. So, what better way to teach your kids than by taking them with you to the big food shop each week. Here, you can do a range of things to teach while you shop.
The obvious is to get them to add everything up for you. Now, this works best on slightly older children. In fact, it’s a fun game that can help them learn how to use a calculator. Let them put every item in and then come up with a total at the end. If their total is accurate, you give them a treat for doing well!
On a more basic level, asking kids to select a set number of things will help with counting skills again. Send them to get you three potatoes and see what they come back with.
Play maths games with them
Does your child love playing games? They probably do, and there are plenty of kid’s games that incorporate maths rather subtly. Monopoly is a fantastic one; it involves a lot of counting and addition/subtraction, honing a child’s numeracy skills. Again, it probably works better for kids already in school with a slight understanding of maths.
However, there are so many other games for younger kids to enjoy as well. Dominos is a classic, and you can use it to teach your kids how to count. Even classic card games – like Snap – can be useful. Snap is all about matching cards with one another, and it means your child has to be able to add up the suits on each card to match the numbers. These days, you will find all sorts of games that are very maths-focused in a bid to encourage children to learn basic skills from a very young age. It’s well worth playing them as games are often the best way for young kids to learn.
Look, these three ideas are about as simple as it gets. You genuinely don’t need to do anything crazy when it comes to teaching math skills to kids. A lot of your daily activities revolve around maths, so start involving your kids in them. Of course, adding some games into the mix keeps things entertaining and can subconsciously teach your kids the vital skills they need to succeed.