One of the topics that most students dislike or fear in school is mathematics. However, mathematics was always a part of daily human lives, from counting money when out to buy something, measuring, especially when cooking or when making body measurements, and other activities that people are unaware of but actually use math. Moreover, math enthusiasts claim that if a person grows to appreciate it, they will eventually fall in love with learning it.
On the contrary, children in preschool to primary education are still developing and exploring each subject they are studying; hence, most don’t know whether it is something to hate or love. Therefore, allowing students to participate in math at an early age would be one of the best methods to cultivate a positive attitude and prepare them for a successful future.
Properly introducing math to a child is quite a challenge for most adults, especially if one isn’t fond of the area of study they will be teaching. However, fret not; there are engaging activities that promote math love to children that could make it enjoyable to learn the subject. In other words, you can disguise math lessons as other activities.
Children of all ages, from babies to toddlers, often like listening to tales, singing, and dancing. These are just a few things kids would enjoy doing on a daily basis besides playing games. Creating a subtle dynamic between these activities and math will be an objective accomplishment of “hitting two birds with one stone.”
For instance, it would be excellent to introduce mathematics by having the kids sing along to children’s songs about counting, differentiating between shapes and sizes, and dancing to songs involving mathematics. In addition to nursing children in developing their early reading skills and math understanding, these exercises were also enjoyable for them to do.
Adding storytelling to children’s everyday activities tends to have better mental development for young children since it boosts their creativity and attention to detail. In addition, kids may also be into the story when mixed with math problems. For instance, adding math puzzles, basic problems such as “the ant took three apples from the human’s apple, how many left,” and other simple math equations incorporated into the storyline.
In this approach, the children become exposed to the topics in a manner that will prepare them for future math-related activities. Especially children particularly enjoyed it when their teachers integrated story time into the everyday routine at school.
Furthermore, having kids recite poems such as “Baba Blacksheep” or skip-counting numbers will help them retain the information, and the latter will prepare them for multiplication tables in the future.
Nature has a way of relaxing young children’s minds, just like it does for adults. In addition to the thought, children may learn a lot when out in nature. The existence of trees and various harmless insects such as butterflies, fallen leaves, and other elements can be used to correlate with mathematics.
A few activities that children can enjoy involving math are, for instance: counting fallen leaves, trees, butterflies, and other things they can see. Furthermore, measuring the height of the trees using a pencil from a distance and painting the scenery using basic shapes.
Children are naturally imaginative while creating crafts and using building blocks. With these, children may improve their cognitive skills and creativity by building and making things out of their existing resources.
To illustrate further, young kids must distinguish shapes after making a cut from the paper and explain what they can make out of it—also, measure the cutouts with a ruler and create a graph out of it. The same goes for building blocks; they can measure how tall the tower they made or the width of the castle they plan to establish. Teachers may readily include math in construction and creating; some children in a class will likely want to become architects and engineers someday.
No one would bet on which child doesn’t want to play a game. The best part of a child’s typical days is being able to play with their favorite toys or with their friends in a learning center. Without wasting any learning moment, this chance would be an excellent way for them to correlate math to their daily activities.
When it comes to games, there are numerous options available for both indoor and outdoor fun. Outdoor activities, for instance: a ‘lengthy’ scavenger hunt, can be an excellent game for children. They will be given a list of “treasures” and instructed to locate a specific object with the measurement defined on the list.
The next activity is to play a game of hopscotch with a mathematical twist. One may add a little twist to this game by choosing whether to step on an even or odd number. That will depend on the children’s answers to the given math challenge. In addition, kids can also use dice, flashcards, or other materials.
Additionally, there are numerous indoor games that kids can play, like flashcards, Uno cards, number bingo, “the boat is sinking,” enjoyable mathematics quizzes, and other games that keep kids entertained while learning.
When students enter tertiary school, teaching them basic surveys and graphs will equip them to comprehend in-depth research. Making them create simple questions they can ask their friends, such as what their favorite color, cartoon, animal, etc., is an excellent example of teaching children simple surveys and graphs. Then, they can create data and organize it in a clever diagram using the information they gathered.
They would be able to comprehend things completely and simply that way and have the opportunity to engage and get to know other people during the activity.
Probably one or more aspiring chefs may sprout inside the class in the future, and this next activity will excite them to try. There are various things to do inside the kitchen that involves math; however, baking would be more recommendable for children to try themselves. Of course, with the supervision of the adults.
Children can do math activities in baking without being fully aware of the thought that they are doing math. In baking, they would know how to measure ingredients needed in creating desired cookies or pastries they like, and it also comes with sizes and shapes. Making them recites and distinguish what they are making would help them retain pieces of information from it.
However, it’s really risky to be in the kitchen with children, so adults must focus entirely on them while doing the activity. On the other note, there are other exercises that kids can enjoy involving food and math, for instance: creating pizza, doughnuts, and cake fractions. Roleplaying as a restaurant owner is also a good activity to play with the kids. Such as using clay as food, and that way, they can begin learning anything about money, paying, and receiving change from a store.
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