Fun Math Activities

Fun Math Activities

By Catie Hayes

Measure Up Stories

Skills : measuring skills, addition, problem solving

Materials : ruler, assorted household objects

Give your child two or three items and a ruler, explaining they will help 'act out' a silly story you will tell. Make up any story you wish about the items, but include some type of measurement in the story. Whenever appropriate, stop the story to allow your child to move and measure the objects, following the instructions described in your story. If you child has mastered basic measuring skills, increase the challenge by incorporating addition of measurements. For example, we had a group of three clementines, who happened to be best of friends, build houses close to each other. One clementine built a cottage 10 inches from his friend (pause here for two clementines to be placed and measured appropriately). The third clementine built his house 21 inches from his friend (pause here to allow your child to determine how accurately measure 21 inches from the original clementine, and carry it out). As your child's interest warrants, continue the story, or start a new one.

If your child has not been introduced to measuring techniques yet, demonstrate how to use a ruler before beginning the story.

Un-Do It Game

Skills - addition and subtraction concepts

Materials - this game may be played on paper, chalkboard or orally

This is a fun game to reinforce understanding of addition and subtraction, as well as when to use each. Start with any equation, 2% 2B2=4, for example. Explain that subtraction is needed to 'undo' your equation, creating the equation 4-2=2. Take turns with your child offering either addition or subtraction problems, and offering the 'undone' equations.

If your child is just beginning to work with these concepts, you may want to include manipulatives of some sort, buttons, beans, linking cubes, to demonstrate the concepts.

Making Cents

Materials : deck of playing cards, assortment of coins, chalk board

Skills : place value, money values, making change, addition

On the chalkboard, draw two blank lines. Explain to your child that you will draw two cards from the deck, face cards are worth 1, aces are worth 0, and all other cards retain their value. The first card you draw is the value for the ones place, the second card is the value for the tens place. In other words, if you draw a 3 and a Queen that would be worth 13. Have you child identify where to write each number according to its assigned place value, and then identify how much the final result is worth. Next, using the coin assortment, have your child find a combination that equals the value on the board. Can they make the same value with any other combination of coins?

About the Author

Catie Hayes is founder/editor of, a community of support, spirituality, growth and empowerment for women. She is a freelance writer, the single homeschooling mom of two, and an avid fan of laughter, spontaneous dancing, cats and chocolate (not necessarily in that order).


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