How does your child view math? Is it boring and frustrating? If so, it’s time to introduce some math toys into the equation. Learning math doesn’t require solving boring equations and mastering frustrating problems. Instead, bring in some hands-on play and real life fun with toys and games designed to help make math more exciting for kids.
1. Counting Cubes
Build basic addition and subtraction skills by using counting cubes. Kids can add them together one by one to count out lower numbers or build stacks of 10 to represent larger numbers. For a basic counting cubes set start with a set of Snap Cubes, which easily connect to build larger numbers. Younger math learners may appreciate something cuter, such as Counting Bears or Animal Counters.
2. Sorting Sets
Teach kids about patterns and build basic sorting skills with educational sorting sets. Learning Resources’ Super Sorting Pie gives kids a chance to sort fruits by color, shape, and number. To focus more on patterns, try Melissa & Doug’s Bead Sequencing Set, which has kids sort beads to match the patterns on wooden cards.
3. Fraction Food
There’s nothing like food to help kids learn about fractions. For basic fractions such as 1/2 and 1/4, try Magnetic Apple Fractions, which features play apples that come apart in measured segments. Step up the fractions play with Free-Range Fractions, a math game that uses plastic eggs to help kids visualize a fraction’s numerator and denominator. For even more fraction fun, bring a popular food into play – pizza! Scholastic’s Pizza Fun Fraction Game teaches kids about fractions as they race to build their own pies.
4. Math Dice
Math dice help kids build mental math skills. Simply roll the dice, and then add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers to try and reach the target number. Think Fun’s Math Dice offer a basic set of dice to start with. You can also take the math dice concept a bit further by having kids play a game such as Farkle or Yahtzee.
5. Cash Registers
Give kids a chance to run their own store and build their math skills at the same time. Price items around the house and have kids ring them up on their Learning Resources Teaching Cash Register. The drawers can hold real money, so you can swap out the pretend money for real money and have kids man the till at a garage sale or while running their own lemonade stand.
6. Math Board Games
Many board games also help build basic math skills. Some have even been designed with math in mind. Try a round of Wits and Wagers Family, which teaches kids about adding up points, probability and taking risks. For something more obviously focused on math, play Sequence Numbers, where players place tokens on the board after solving equations. The Allowance Game offers another way to teach kids about math, this time by focusing on spending and saving money, as well as making change.