Gone are the days when children run up the street to do a little bit of shopping.
Gone are the days when we weigh fruit and vegetable at the fruit shop or grocery store.
Gone are the days when children run around the streets on their own and worked out when to come home.
These activities for very obvious reasons don’t happen anymore. But what that means is that our children can be missing out on the opportunity to use real life experiences to develop their Maths knowledge. These real life experiences allowed children to explore concepts such as money, distance, weight, time and organisational skills to name a few.
The good news is, these activities can be modified to ensure our children are safe yet having the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts.
For younger children this is best done through play. When you look at games that children play the majority can have mathematical concepts. Sorting, ordering counting, sharing between people. Add to this songs that we can sing with our children (http://www.songsforteaching.com/numberscounting.htm ) and your child and you are having so much fun they won’t realise they are learning. A child drawing a picture supports your child’s mathematical acquisition through patterns, sizing and perspective. All these skills are the foundation for mathematical concepts and formal, conventional mathematics.
Fun is the key to unlock your child’s passion for Mathematics.
As children get older, activities around the house such as setting the table, cooking and sports can support and develop your child’s mathematical knowledge but more importantly their understanding of the purpose of mathematics. Allow your child to see how they can use maths in their everyday lives, selecting T.V programs, preparing a special dish for the family organising a family outing. All these activities will gently encourage your child to use logical thinking and some of their knowledge.
Following instructions, measuring, timing and organising your ingredients, creating patterns/designs not only makes a great dishes for family but your child is learning and using mathematical knowledge without the child even knowing that what they are doing. Think about the amount of incidental mathematical thinking happens when you are planning an outing. What time do we need to leave? How long will it take to the place? How much money do I need? What is the best way to get to the outing? The list can go on and on. Ask your child at the end of the day what learnt. They may say nothing but then ask them to list all the things that they did and highlight for them where there is mathematics.
Maths is fun for all the family.