Summer is the perfect time to practice and brush up on math concepts. It’s important to keep your child engaged and motivated with learning even when school is not in session. The summertime means there are so many ways to explore numbers; all you need is a little creativity, a little imagination, and your child will be staying on top of studies without even knowing it! You can play with numbers inside on rainy days – check out free math games on your computer and let your child play a variety of different games like Math Pacman. But when it’s hot and sunny, take numbers outside and enjoy the summer!
Math Scavenger Hunt – Send your child on a math scavenger hunt around your home or at the park. Can he or she find 1 bug, 2 red flowers, 3 dandelions, 4 clovers, and 5 birds? How many flowering trees can your child find? How many ladybugs does he or she see? What other kinds of things could you look for outside? Make your own list!
Jump Rope Multiplication – If three jumpers are jumping and they jumped 15 times, how many jumps was that all together? Multiply to find out!
Summer Math Stories – Use the season of summer to inspire fun math stories and word problems for your child. For example: If there are 10 popsicles in one box and there are 100 children in the camp, how many boxes will the camp director need to buy to feed each child? Or if there are 300 watermelon seeds in one whole watermelon and it is sliced into 10 slices, about how many seeds would each slice contain? Encourage your child to make up silly word problems too. For a variation, draw the equations out on the sidewalk with chalk! For example: 2 orange butterflies + 2 blue butterflies equals how many butterflies in all?
Water Balloon Toss – Children love the water balloon toss! It can be a great way to practice math skills and cool off at the same time. Take turns throwing the balloon and challenging the other player with math facts. You might say, “4 x 6 = ?” When the other person catches the balloon, he or she must say the answer. Each time he or she answers correctly, the player must take a step backwards. How many equations can you solve before the balloon breaks?
Fruit patterns – Encourage young children to learn about patterns with fruit. Slice up some bananas, watermelons, honeydew melon, kiwi, peaches, and other summer fruits. Give your child a wooden skewer and allow him or her to create patterns with the fruit. Count how many kiwi slices there are. Add up all the fruit slices to find how many there are all together. Subtract a few (eat them), then count again!
Read, Read, Read! – Read math story books on the back porch, at the pool, or while on a picnic. Encourage your child to count items in the pictures. Or, try some word games for kids to keep your child building and strengthening his or her language skills, while having fun.