Category Archives: Addition

Adding Fun

When I say the words “practice addition” what comes to your mind? Are you thinking worksheets with sums and problems? That’s the picture that I see in my mind; and it’s not a very interesting and fun picture. It’s not surprising then, that most children are not too happy when asked to practice math.

My daughter is still in preschool, and hasn’t been taught addition. It’s normally introduced in Grade 1. But, I don’t strictly follow the school system, I believe that the mind of a child is like a sponge; if a concept is presented in a fun an interesting level, then it can be easily absorbed.

Here’s an example of how I taught her addition. I planned it out as an activity and did not tell her that she would be learning math or learning to add.

We began with building blocks, a clipboard and a sheet of paper (with boxes drawn) . I asked her to pull out two building blocks from the box. Next, I asked her to count the hubs (the little dots) on each block and write the number in the boxes. Then, I asked her to count the hubs on both blocks together and write that number in the last box.

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She enjoyed the activity and filled 2 sheets with numbers; she did not realize that she was learning; for her it was “just fun”.

Baking with Math

Baking is a great fun activity to do with kids. Kids enjoy making funny shapes with the dough, beating the batter and not to forget gobbling the gooey paste before you can even put it in the oven. 

I’ve always enjoyed baking with my daughter, and this Sunday while we baked together, she also learnt some bit of Math.

 Our baking session began with measuring the ingredients and putting them in a bowl to make the dough. Once the dough was ready, I gave her some in a small bowl, so she could make her own funny shaped cookies. She immediately noticed that my bowl had more dough than hers, and therefore concluded that I would make more cookies than her. (Lesson 1: Greater quantity means more, lesser quantity means less)

 She decided to make worm-shaped cookies. So she flattened and rolled the dough to make some yummy worms. At the end, she had lined up 20 cookie worms. She quickly realized that some worms were longer than the others. And the little perfectionist that she is, she insisted on making them again so that they were all the same length. We took one worm, and marked its length on a Popsicle stick. And then as she made new worms, she measured them against the Popsicle stick marking and adjusted their length to get them all in one size. (Lesson 2: Using a tool to measure length)

 Once the worms were ready, she wanted to give them chocolate chip eyes. Together, we counted the number of chocolate chips required for each worm, and then picked out 40 chips from the jar to put on the worms. (Lesson 3: Multiplication)

 Finally we put our trays in the oven to bake. While we waited, we labeled the cookie jars for each family member. We calculated how many total cookies would be baked and how we could divide them equally among all. (Lesson 4: Division).

 There were 2 extra cookies left, after dividing them equally between all. So, we treated ourselves to the two cookies, as a reward for a good job done!

 Math is so much more fun when it is learnt through an activity, rather than as a subject. Projects are a great way to reinforce math skills in kids. And, if you can’t find enough time to do projects with your kids, then buy them some story books that will take them into the fascinating world of Math. 

 Check out these interesting titles:

  • Mummy Math – An Adventure in Geometry
  • What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? – A Math Adventure
  • Equal Shmequal
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