Maths games and activities
As parents, we all know the struggles of the current and ever-changing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes we run out of ideas and things to do at home, especially when schools have closed down or lockdown restrictions are in place. These games and activities can be done at home with kids of any ages, for those homeschooling their kids or parents who are just waiting until schools re-open.
Why should you use maths games?
Using maths games and activities as part of your homeschooling, home educating or unschooling means that your kids are having fun and learning maths at the same time. It's important to keep learning fun - and engaging - for your kids.
Who remembers the maths formulas they wrote down in maths class? Probably no one.
But do you remember the songs you sung and the games you played in primary school? "Ring around a Rosy" is a popular song that most people still remember, even as adults! The proof is in the pudding, they say.
If you can engage your kids in singing maths songs like in the Skip Count Audio songs (maths songs used in the Math-U-See program to teach skip counting or "fast adding" which is the basis for understanding multiplication), maths games like in the Games and Activity booklet below, or engage them in the 100 Maths Activities, you'll spark their interest and their engagement in maths. You'll imprint their memory with a lifelong enjoyment of numbers, and that is an important and essential part of their education.
How do you use maths games to teach maths?
Just by using maths games and activities with your kids, you are teaching them important maths skills. You are introducing them to numbers and engaging them in a much more effective way than sitting them down at a desk with a page full of formulas in front of them. Ask your kids, they will say they enjoy the fun games and activities much more!
If you are looking for a complete maths program to use with your kids during school closures, or if you're homeschooling and need an easy and effective solution to maths, you can check out the entire Math-U-See program from covers Primary to Grade 12 maths. It's specific for kids of all ages and grade levels, and all types of learning styles and learning differences (dyslexia and dyscalculia included). Plus it's used by hundreds of happy parents and families across Australia for the past 25 years!
Do maths games have an age limit?
These maths games and activities are perfect for kids of all ages and grade levels. That's the thing with games, they don't have an age limit! Remember Monopoly or Scrabble? They are popular board games that are ageless - even my grandma plays Monopoly!
These maths games are used in the Alpha Level of the Math-U-See program to teach Place Value, addition, subtraction and time. These foundational maths concepts are the basis for a strong understanding of numbers. That's the way the Math-U-See program teaches - foundations first, in a sequential manner. There's no point jumping from one subject to the next before your child has fully understood the concept. This will just make it harder later on when you have to go back and re-learn the topic!
67+ Maths Games and Activities
1. Making a Number Picture
This activity is an easy one to start with. Join the dots between each number, in numerical order, and create the picture on the sheet. It's like a "join the dots" but with using numbers and maths to engage your child.
There's easy to advanced in these number pictures to suit your child's maths knowledge. While some number pictures are simpler with instructions to "join the dots in a numerical order to create the number picture," other examples test the student a little further by asking "start at 100 and connect the dots by counting backwards by ten."
You can also make your own number pictures with your child. This is an easy way to encourage your child's number and artistic skills.
2. Making Triangles
You can make triangles by finding the missing number from 10.
If 3 + x = 10, you student will be asked to fill in the missing "x" to make ten. This activity is a great one to show quickly how well your child knows their ten facts!
If they need a refresher on their maths number facts, the Free Mega Bundle (which includes Maths Facts Sheets of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) is a great resource to use which you can download here.
3. Colouring Numbers to identify Place Value
In the Games and Activity booklet, there's a few pages that are full of numbers. This is to teach them Place Value by colouring in the numbers according to their "value." You will ask your child to pick a number, say "154" and they will colour the number in the correct colours to show how many hundreds, tens and units there are in 154.
You will ask them to colour the hundreds in red, the tens in blue and the units in green. You can also get out your Math-U-See blocks and build the number out with the blocks to further build number recognition.
This is a great way to solidify your child's understanding of Place Value. Most kids go through their schooling and don't understand what Place Value is, even in highschool. By making it a point to teach Place Value in a concrete way early on in their education, you'll be saving yourself alot of time, tears and frustration!
Here's a quick article on the importance of teaching Place Value to your kids.
4. Make Decimal Street on a whiteboard
Draw out each number using the Math-U-See blocks and a whiteboard. This is a fun way of further practising your child's understanding of Place Value.
For example, pick the number "285." Draw the houses out in their respective colours, and put the blocks inside the hundreds, tens and units house.
Here's a whole lot more games and activities you can do to teach Place Value to your kids. This is especially important if your child is still finger counting, or gets their numbers mixed up in their answers e.g 63 or 36.
You can check out How to Teach Place Value with Maths Games article here.
5. Maths crosswords
By using crosswords as a maths game, you can easily combine both English and maths as two subjects in the same exercise. The maths sums on the left hand side provides the numerical side, while filling in the words on the crossword table on the right hand side of the page encourages word use.
Word problems in maths lessons also combine these two essential skills for your child. Maths and English are the foundation of our education system, no matter what learning style or homeschooling method you use.
6. Practice Skip Counting
There's a fun way of practising skip counting! Skip counting or "fast adding" is key because it builds the foundations for your child's understanding of multiplication.
Learning maths facts can be boring and repetitive. I remember our dad wouldn't let us eat dinner until we had walked around the house reciting every number fact for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division up to 100. It took ages to say them all!
Here's an example from the Games and Activity booklet of colouring in a basketball man and learning your "skip counting by 5s" facts at the same time:
Another great way of practising your skip counting facts is through the Skip Count Audio songs. They are catchy songs that you can play in your car, at home or on the way to sports.
Download the free maths games and activities booklet
There's so many more maths games and activities in this jam-packed Games and Activity Booklet. You can print off this downloadable pdf and use it straight away - or have it ready for the next time your kids need something exciting and engaging to do when it's maths class.
You can download the Games and Activity Booklet here:
Let us know what games and activities were your favourite ones,
Have fun learning and playing!
The Team at Maths Australia