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Making Math Fun for Kids

Math can be fun.  No, really, it can.  Here are some tips for helping your kids have fun with math.

  • Together, play Score Four, Monopoly Jr., or other board games that involve counting.
  • Together, play card games that involve counting.
  • Together, watch sports, calculate sports statistics, and compare them with what is on your TV screen.
  • Make a game out of counting things in your kids’ environment. How many toy trucks do they have? How many teeth? Then, build on this exercise with basic math. If you are four years old now, how old will you be when you are three years older than you are today? If you have 24 kids in your class and two kids move away, how many kids will you have left in your class? If the Johnsons have two puppies and three kitties, how many pets do they have?
  • When you are at a store or restaurant, have your kids count your dollars and cents necessary for you to pay your bill. If you are due change back, have your kids calculate how much change is due to you.
  • Visit fun math websites

In each activity above, celebrate each correct answer that your kids calculate.  When an incorrect answer is given, simply state, “Well, no, I don’t think so.  Let’s try that again.”  Then, rephrase the math problem at hand.  If the correct answer is not yet given, it’s best to help your kids through this teaching moment.  For example, you may say, “Nope.  Let’s see.  You are currently four years old . . . please hold up four fingers.  Ok, good.  Now, would you hold up three more fingers, please?  Good.  Ok, how many fingers are you holding up in total now?  Seven is right!  Good job!  In three more years, you will be seven years old!  Does that make sense to you?”

 The above list represents just a few ways that you can help make math fun for your kids.  By looking for fun ways to emphasize the math in everyday life, and celebrating correct answers, your kids can learn to have fun with math.   

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