Everyday Math: Keep Numbers in the Game Every Single Day

By Amy Mascott


Math is a part of our every day, and often all parents need is a little reminder — a small nudge — to bring their children into the everyday math fun. And when they do? Payoffs are big: Children become stronger at math, which builds a solid foundation for school and learning.


When kids have a chance to experience firsthand the fun that is counting, sorting, seeking and thinking about math concepts, they’ll be hooked from the outset. Need a few ways to bring in the math fun from morning until night?


Here are a few activities that will keep your kids math-happy from breakfast through bedtime:


  1. Look at the clock. Kids need clocks in their bedrooms. Even if they’re not telling time yet, put an analog or digital clock in their rooms to they can learn to identify what time it is when they wake in the morning. Simply mention, “Oh, look! It’s 7:00 in the morning. Time to start our day!”


  1. Talk about measurements. When you fill the cereal bowl or juice cup, talk about it being empty or full. Look at the temperature outside and compare it to the temperature inside. Let your child feel the cool of the refrigerator compared to the chill of the freezer.


  1. Seek shapes. Cut toast into triangles, notice the circular top of the bowl and point out the oval shape of the spoon. One of many math games could be looking for squares around the room or as you drive to school. What shape is the stop sign? The street sign? The cereal box?


  1. Count the steps. On your way out the door, ask your child to do two things: Put shoes on and turn the light off, and count as he completes each step. On your way up the steps of the school building, count each step as you take it.


  1. Read signs. Point out road signs, speed limits and numbers on houses. Count the number of red lights compared to green lights, trucks compared to cars.


  1. Cooking patterns. At dinner, have your child count the slices of cheese you place on hamburgers or the number of pepper slices as you cut them. Have him help you measure ingredients as you need them, and make comparisons along the way.


  1. Location, location. Talk about locations. Who is sitting to the right of Mommy? Would you place the book on top of the bookshelf? Please hang your towel below the sink. Brush your teeth before you dry your hair. Location words are important for children to learn, and they can do so with gentle reminders from Mom and Dad.


  1. Simple math. Have your child pick out three books for bedtime reading, and as you finish each one, simply talk through how many you have left. Not only will the countdown help prepare your little one for finishing up, but it will also help him to better understand and conceptualize subtraction!


Math can — and should — be a part of your every day, all day, and math is a whole lot more than numbers and counting. Let’s bring on the math!


Compensation was provided by Sylvan Learning. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sylvan.