It's easy to get in a rut with math and rely on textbook teaching and drilling. And that's a shame, especially because there are loads of interestingly funways to play with math and numbers. And here're five alternatives to those textbook drilling.
- Now that our driveways are finally snow-free in Minnesota, it's the perfect time to put them to use! Draw circles in colorful chalk and put a number in each. Call out math problems and have the kids hop to the right answer. It's silly fun and can get challenging when it's a long hop or they have to hop around another player!
- Each time they have to solve a division problem with the chocolate chips as manipulatives, and eat the remainers. Have them call out problems to try to get as high of remainers as possible! Keep going till you get down to none.
- Tape numbers to the table, with lots of room in between. Give each child a fly swatter. Ask them math questions and have them swat the answer.
- Start with a number and have each person take turns calling out the new number, something new to do with it and “handing” it to the next person. For example, start with 13 and call out “Anna, times 2.” Anna calls out “26! Jack, minus 3.” Jack hollers out “23, Victoria, plus 81″ and so on. See how long you can keep the chain going as a family.
- Give the kids $1,000 imaginary dollars to invest in stocks of their choosing. Track their value each day (for as short or long a period of time as you like), either online or in the newspaper. See if they can make a profit. If you like, graph how the stocks did over time.