Here's some holiday maths activities that your kids will love

When your kids are on holidays, they don't want to sit down and revise their maths problems. They want to run around and have fun while it lasts!

If you're homeschooling, home educating or unschooling, or sending your kids to school, you can use these five easy tips to include maths in your break time. Thais way, you eon't have kids complaining about "having to do schoolwork" but you'll keep them engaged and learning how to use numbers in everyday life. 

It's a great list to use, and there's also a free 100 Maths Activities download that will give you loads of ideas to last the whole year!

1. Take a trip to your local library

Take a trip with your child to your library to discover new children’s books about maths. These books are a great and fun way to help your child begin understanding the purpose of maths. You can also visit our Maths Story Books Pinterest board for some wonderful options to get you started!

2. Choose a new adventure and incorporate maths

When it's holiday time, there is so many things you can explore with your kids, whether it involves going away on holidays or staying home with the kids. As with all activities, you can find ways to weave in maths (or English, or any other subject) into the activity. For example, if you are playing a game of basketball, ask your kids to write up the scores, find the average score, multiply the goals, and so on.

Here's 101 ideas were written by Kelly Sundstrom, an award-winning journalist, author, artist and national special needs spokesperson. There's such a varied list of activities to do here, you certainly won't be scratching your head about what to do. Pick and choose your favourite ones and go with that - or better yet, get your kids to choose which ones they would love to do.

1. Set up easels and paint pictures outdoors.
2. Visit your local science museum.
3. Learn how to knot friendship bracelets.
4. Go to a coffee shop and write poetry.
5. Put on an impromptu play.
6. Put together a scavenger hunt, suggests Dr. Chinappi.
7. Visit a trampoline park.
8. Bake a loaf of homemade bread.
9. Build and launch a model rocket.
10. Go on a camping trip at a campground.
11. Wash the family car together.
12. Go apple picking.
13. Go on a family bike ride.
14. Sprout beans in a jar that you can plant in the garden.
15. Weave on a loom.
16. Learn how to play musical instruments together.
17. Look at slides through a microscope.
18. Create a nature journal.
19. Embroider cloth handkerchiefs to give as gifts.
20. Dye cotton cloth using berries and tea.
21. Go roller-skating.
22. Make homemade candles out of beeswax.
23. Visit a living history museum.
24. Toast s'mores over the fireplace, which you can eat while sharing stories, as Dr. Fishel recommends.
25. Have a water balloon fight in the backyard.
26. Look at the moon with a telescope or binoculars.
27. Play 20 Questions, encourages Dr. Fishel.
28. Teach them a card trick to amaze their friends.
29. Draw a map of your neighborhood using graph paper.
30. Put together a homemade kite from newspaper and balsa wood.
31. Knit scarves.
32. Learn Double Dutch jump rope.
33. Visit a corn maze and get lost.
34. Make homemade popcorn.
35. Build unusual snowmen and take pictures.
36. Go bowling.
37. Carve a pumpkin.
38. Give each other facials.
39. Put together a time capsule and bury it in the backyard.
40. Rake leaves into a pile and jump in, Dr. Chinappi suggests.
41. Create a homemade papier-mâché globe with a balloon.
42. Build an igloo out of snow.
43. Turn a shoe box into a diorama.
44. Visit a nursing home.
45. Make a birdhouse out of wood.
46. Teach your child how to make dinner from a recipe, suggests Dr. Fishel.
47. Make beads out of clay and string them into jewelry.
48. Learn to surf.
49. Make homemade candy together.
50. Tie dye T-shirts.
51. Skip stones at a local pond or lake.
52. Paint each other's portraits.
53. Set up an outdoor obstacle course.
54. Learn how to fold different types of paper airplanes, says Dr. Chinappi.
55. Have a room-cleaning competition!
56. Put on a family talent show.
57. Go jogging together and try some squats and lunges in a park.
58. Teach them to play chess (or learn with them).
59. Use a video camera to create stop-frame animations.
60. Learn to fold origami.
61. Play Hangman.
62. Learn to juggle together.
63. Try to memorise favorite poems or verses.
64. Make a salt dough volcano.
65. Learn a few yoga moves.
66. Fill a balloon with baby powder to create a homemade stress ball.
67. Have a bake sale to raise money for charity.
68. Learn how to quilt together.
69. Make sculptures out of soap.
70. Each-tay em-thay Ig-pay Atin-lay.
71. Take a train somewhere.
72. Learn to play tennis.
73. Make your own bows and arrows, and practice archery in your backyard.
74. Host a dance-off in your living room.
75. Make something out of recycled materials.
76. Make homemade bath fizzies.
77. Take old appliances apart to see how they work.
78. Work on a puzzle together.
79. Learn to speak another (real) language.
80. Go geocaching together.
81. Set up a domino track on a large table.
82. Teach them how to do laundry.
83. Collect clothes and toys for charity.
84. Make a duct tape wallet or purse.
85. Take a trip to an amusement park.
86. Go get ice cream cones.
87. Play ping pong.
88. Play flashlight tag.
89. Go on a hike at a national park.
90. Learn Morse Code together.
91. Find a walking stick and paint it.
92. Play charades.
93. Go to the zoo.
94. Learn cup stacking.
95. Make marionette puppets and put on a puppet show, Dr. Fishel suggests.
96. Roll a pine cone in peanut butter and bird seed to create a bird feeder.
97. Set up a lemonade stand.
98. Shoot baskets at a gymnasium.
99. Decorate hats and shoes with paint pens.
100. Put on a magic show for friends and family.
101. Turn a lemon into a battery.

Before you start any of these activities, brainstorm with your kids about how to include maths. What can you add? Subtract? Multiply? Find the average? Create a word problem? Count the items? Remember to make the maths questions relevant to their ability, so they are still engaging and having fun. 

3. Create your own word problems

Find any object around the house. You can grab a stack of playing cards, toys, utensils or pieces of fruit. If you don't have anything handy around the home, make a trip to the grocery store and add in a maths question at the checkout e.g "If I gave the checkout clerk $7 and the apples cost $5.50, how much change should I get?" Having a specific purpose for an outing or going shopping can be an easy way to engage your kids. I know mine loved coming to the shops with me because then they snuck in all kinds of treats into the trolley!

When you have your items, create a maths question. For example, "If you have 7 apples and Alice ate 4 of them, how many do you have left?"

Your older children may enjoy working through word problems with their younger siblings, or you can give your kids the job of creating the word problems together. One child can create the word problem, you can check it, and they can ask the other child to answer correctly. This activity makes word problems fun, and it reinforces previously mastered maths skills.

4. Have fun outdoors with your kids

If you're planning a trip outdoors and you don't know what to do, these 100 Maths Activity Ideas are great to include in your holidays. There are so many great ideas and they all involve a maths component, so you can even continue these when school goes back! Plus, one of our favourite things about these 100 Maths Activity Ideas is that they are all based outdoors. That means you get outdoors, play in the sun, get some exercise and learn maths at the same time. Engaging, exciting for your kids and best of all, these maths skills are learnt without books!

We've put all 100 Maths Activity Ideas into a handy PDF!

Want to download a copy?

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5. Use the free worksheets

If you have kids that want to keep learning even while they are on break, these free worksheets are a great resource to use. Revising maths skills and going over maths concepts will also enhance their maths knowledge, making your children ready to start school straight away when holidays are over. I know my kids always asked for more worksheets and maths revision to do - I never had to remind them!

Let us know which activities you did with your kids in the comments below,

Enjoy your holiday break!

The Team at Maths Australia

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