I think playing games are the best way for children to review information. Games incorporate three of the five senses for learning which are sight, hearing, and touch. Sometimes, if you are creative, you can include smell and taste as well. Below I will tell you about a 3rd grade math game we created.
This week, I decided to review multiplication and division with my son. He is starting to multiply and divide multi-digit numbers. I wanted to ensure that he mastered his times tables from 0 – 12.
My son loves games and competition. Therefore, playing this game really increased his motivation to get every math problem correct.
In order to make our review games more interesting, I like incorporating his favorite toys. This week he wanted to use Turbo Bot as a way to earn extra points in this activity. Turbo Bot is a toy that can dance, spin, explore, and even record your voice.
Watch the video below to see how we used Turbo Bot to make this 3rd grade math game more challenging and exciting.
Also you can use this game to review any concept, whether its addition, history, or science facts. We encourage you to be creative and use the game in your own way.
I have heard adults and children proclaim that they are not good at math. Some people believe this because they received bad grades in this subject in school. Furthermore, they had a difficult time understanding various mathematical concepts. Many of us believe math just comes naturally for some people. I discovered that this is simply not true. Teaching mathematics in early childhood is one way to combat this belief.
You mean people can improve their math ability?
Yes, people can improve their math abilities. I remember reading the book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn Nabrit. The author details why and how she homeschooled her boys. When it was time for her sons to go to college, she talked to a college admission counselor about what they look for when admitting students to their school. Of course they mentioned grades among many other aspects of a student. The counselor said good reading scores starts early in childhood; however, with practice many students can raise their math scores later in life.
How can this be done?
Dr. Ben Carson gave a lecture on PBS called, The Missing Link: The Science of Brain Health. In this talk, he gave tips on how people can optimally utilize their brain. Dr. Carson addressed the fact that many people find math difficult. He says that anyone can be good at math. Math is a subject that builds upon the previous concept. He said that when people have trouble with math it is because they failed to understand the previous concept given to them. It is important for students to go back and make sure they understand the foundational ideas before they move ahead to the next.
It just takes practice and effort.
Why is teaching mathematics in early childhood important?
When many people hear the word “mathematics” they tend to think of numbers, equations, and theories. However, math is so much more than that. It is a part of our everyday interactions and children naturally practice mathematics as a life skill whether we notice it or not.
For example, a child knows that if he or she has one cookie and his or her sibling has two cookies, then there is a difference. If a child has played with a toy for five minutes and another child played with it for fifteen minutes, they can feel the discrepancy. In the examples above, children are using mathematics to decide how they should feel about certain situations.
If our children naturally practice these skills, why not foster their learning by connecting it to their interests and incorporating it into their play and daily routines?
We will discuss some ways to do this later.
What are the important mathematical skills in early childhood education?
Colors, shapes, and spatial reasoning are a few important mathematical skills in early childhood education. Colors help children organize and bring logic to their world. Identifying colors helps a child create a link between visual clues and words. Colors aid in giving children the vocabulary needed to describe the world around them, which opens up new verbal channels for them.
For instance, children often distinguish the difference between foods such as fruits and vegetables by their color. Furthermore, when your child is painting or coloring, most often they will make the sun yellow and water blue because this is familiar to them. It helps to organize their creation.
Shapes are not only important in math, but also life in general. A child who can identify shapes will learn how letters of the alphabet are formed. This prepares them to have better handwriting skills. For instance, the letter O is basically a circle.
Also, the knowledge of shapes is useful for building, which is an introduction to engineering. My son learned a lot about what shapes to use when building certain structures with his magnetic tiles. He learned that rectangles and squares make great bases or foundations for towers. His towers are made with hexagons, squares, and triangles. From these experiences, he was able to apply his knowledge of creating basic structures to making them more sophisticated and complex.
A child uses visual spatial skills daily when he or she imagines where a toy in their room is located before going to get it. Another example is when a child is packing their book or duffle bag; they visualize how different items can fit together to maximize storage capacity. Furthermore, when a child puts together a puzzle, they imagine where pieces go before putting them in the correct place.
What are the methods used to teach mathematics?
There are so many methods to teaching mathematics besides worksheets. My favorite method is playful learning which may include games, hands-on activities, and the use of toys. These activities will help you to make the information active to your child. This is important because learning comes to life for a child when they do something with the information.
Examples of fun activities you can do are to go outside, collect and count rocks, and sort them by color and texture. You can also build a math activity around your child’s interests. If your child likes cars, have them construct numbers in sand or mud with their toy vehicles. You can also create a road with tape in the form of numbers. Then have your child follow the path with the cars. If you have a child that likes dolls or stuffed animals, then help them do a role play as a teacher teaching their dolls how to recognize numbers.
The possibilities are endless!
Want more FUN ideas for teaching early childhood mathematics?
Many of the activities can be done with household items and materials. This book also gives its readers tips and resources such as children book suggestions, videos, music, toys, and playful materials.
How do I know these activities work?
These are the activities I have used to teach my son, Cory, early childhood mathematics. Currently he is five but does math on a 4th grade level.
Cory really enjoyed learning math because the activities were hands-on, playful, and fun. He connected with the concepts because he was able to experience what he was learning through engaging games. Additionally, when you use fun learning and play to expose a child to math, the information tends to stick faster.
There is a quote by Dr. Karen Purvis that says “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!”
This is why playful learning is important, effective, and efficient!
Are you looking for the perfect activity to do in the final weeks of summer? This DIY chalk paint activity is great for the whole family! Younger kids can enjoy using this decorative paint (that easily washes away!) to create sidewalk masterpieces, and older kids or adults can use it to make fun or inspirational chalkboard signs to display around the home!
Check out the step-by-step guide for DIY chalk paint below and also be sure to download some or all of the three awesome stencil packs that both kids and adults can use to elevate their chalk paint art.
Guide to DIY Chalk Paint
The process of making your own chalk paint is simple! You just need water, cornstarch, and food coloring. Once you mix together these three basic ingredients, you’re well on your way to creating masterpieces at home.
To help guide your artwork, download these stencil packs:
Want a fun numbers activity for kids? Look no further, I will share one with you in this post.
My son and I love to make up games to play. I personally like adding an educational component to these games to make learning fun. While playing games, my son loves to compete and it creates motivation for him to understand new concepts.
Games also accommodate the three basic types of learners which are sight learners, audio learners, and kinesthetic learners. Kids are often using sight, hearing, and touch when playing games.
This week we played and created the Slime Hide and Seek NUMBERS Challenge.
This game is great for teaching and reviewing number recognition and place values with your children. About two weeks before playing this game, we found an easy three-ingredient slime recipe that my son loves. Therefore, we thought it would be fun to incorporate it into our game.
We love this activity because it includes the science of making slime from scratch and the mathematical concept of numbers. Additionally, the friendly competition games encourage is always exciting!
The video below shows you how to play the game. We played three rounds and each one gets harder as you progress. Watch the whole video to find out who won (my son or I).
Your kids will have a blast playing the game! We hope you enjoy it!
Fun Numbers Activity for Kids – Slime Hide and Seek Challenge
My son was able to recite the numbers 1-10 at 17 months. I remember him sitting in the high chair, waiting for his dinner to cool down, saying the numbers as I held my fingers up.
He did not learn with flashcards. He learned with natural and playful exposure. I wanted to ensure he used three of his senses, which were sight, hearing, and touch, when learning the numbers. It was important for him to see, hear, and touch them. It is possible to incorporate the sense of taste by making number cookies.
I will show you the educational toys for toddlers we used to naturally expose my son to numbers in a fun way. Additionally, there are explanations in how we used each toy or material.
Let’s Get Started!
My son liked these types of puzzles because he was able to touch the numbers.
Whenever he picked up a number, I would identify it.
We would put them in order forwards and backwards.
I also loved to hide them around the room and he would bring them to me.
After he gave me the number, I would identify it until he could do it himself.
One day my son was playing with dice from a Monopoly game and play foam numbers. All of a sudden I hear him say, “Mommy, I made up a game!”
When I hear the word “GAME,” I get excited. I think games are the best way to learn because they incorporate the three basic learning styles: Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic learning.
I sat on the floor with him and he gave me directions for the game. After playing the game with him, I realized it would be perfect to help kids with number recognition. Since we had a great time playing the game, I would like to share it with you.
My son loves to play, build, and race his toy cars. One day, I asked him if he wanted to have a car wash after seeing this activity on the Internet. I remember looking at this activity and thinking this would be a great idea for a kid who likes cars.
I had several reasons for suggesting the car wash. First, this activity was a fun way to encourage my son to practice his penmanship. The weekend we did the activity, it was raining. I was trying to find something hands-on to do in the house; although, a car wash is really fun when doing it outside on a sunny day. Furthermore, I wanted to incorporate three things that interest my son which are cars, counting, and getting messy.
Our Car Wash incorporated fun and so many aspects of hands-on learning. I thought I would share this activity with you so your kids can have as much fun as my son.