Sunday, April 3, 2011

Everyday Math

While we've been on spring break here at CrazyLife, I've been getting some things ready for the next few weeks of preschool for Thing #3 and Thing #4.  While doing this, I've been spending lots of time finding ways to bring school activities into our everyday life.  Since we have such a limited time in the evenings to do school, we have to get as much "bang for our buck" so to speak.

Today I want to talk about everyday math.  How we are finding ways to incorporate math into our everyday play and work here at home.  It's easier than you think and as you go, you'll find more and more ways to encourage your children's math skills!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Make patterns with building blocks, legos, duplos, etc.  Do an AB pattern with two colors, or an ABC pattern with three colors.  Or instead of colors, use sizes of blocks - big/little patterns, two bump/three bump patterns, etc.
  2. Have children divide fruit pieces such as grapes or apple slices into equal parts during lunch.  Give them enough pieces for all the lunch plates and have them decide how many pieces go on each plate to make sure that everyone gets the same amount.
  3. Have children count silverware out for the family while setting the table.  How many spoons do we need?  How many forks?
  4. Measure toys.  How many blocks long is your tower?  How many legos long is your dinosaur? How many legos long is our book?  How many blocks tall are you?  How many blocks long is your foot?
  5. Let children help with baking simple things for dinner and have them measure out ingredients and count as they do.  How many scoops of flour?  Older children can take the fractions and figure out that if I am using a 1/4 C measure, how many scoops do I need to make 1 C?  Let them stir - how many stirs until it is mixed?
  6. As we fold and put away laundry, how many pairs of underwear are there?  How many shirts will fit into our drawers?  Can we make a pattern with long sleeved/short sleeved shirts in our pile?
  7. Have children help sort socks (a double whammy as it helps them with matching and also gets them to do a hated chore for me!) Matching up colors and patterns and sizes.
  8. Look at sizes of objects around the room and play "I spy."  I spy something that is bigger than the chair.  I spy something that has an AB pattern on it.  I spy something that is longer than your foot.
  9. During garden season, have children in charge of one special plant.  They get to plant it and care for it.  Sunflowers and beans are good because they grow well and show lots of change from day to day.  Make a chart and have children measure growth of the plant day to day or week to week.  Let them draw pictures of the plant at those times.  Make a graph of their plant showing the changes.  Or make a graph showing the differences in each child's plant.
  10. Have a rain gauge or snow gauge in your yard.  Let children take measurements from that.  Compare from day to day.
  11. Put up a thermometer in a place the kids can see it.  Let them graph the temperature changes for a week/month.  Take turns with one child being the meteorologist, so they all get a turn to take the temp. In addition to this you can do a guessing game - what will tomorrow be like?  How will we need to dress today?  Etc.
  12. When you buy a bag of beans, candies, soaps, or anything with multiple pieces in one package, have the kids estimate how many pieces are in there.  Write all the answers down, then let them count and see who is closest.
A dozen ideas to get you started. . . how do you do everyday math in your house?


Post a Comment