Making Maths Fun

Making Maths Fun

Maths seems to be one of those subjects that really splits people into the lovers and haters. Once that maths dread sets in, it’s really hard sometimes to stem exactly where that original loathing comes from. Personally I was a happy mather (probably not a real word) all the way through primary school. I like calculations, I loved arithmetic. I loved knowing that there was just one right answer.

Then all of a sudden secondary school changed all of that. I found myself struggling in class and it impossible to keep up. This destroyed my confidence, even though I managed a grade C and a successful career in finance for many years after leaving school. I’ve never considered myself a maths person. Living with an accountant we seem to function as house split into the maths lovers and haters. I am very aware that I don’t want to create that kind of mentality when teaching B.

So far he is proving himself perfectly adept at maths. He picks it up with very little instruction and relishes sharing his knowledge. I guess my only worry will be when we hit my weak spots. Luckily we are fortunate enough to have plenty of math heads in our circle to pick up the slack!

I think one of the things which makes so much sense to B is that he sees the purpose to our maths work. From adding and estimation when shopping, to measuring and weighing. It all has a purpose. To help us reach our targets we have pieced together some games to help us keep maths fun and we thought we’d share them here.

Dice Games

  • Take 2 dice, roll them and multiply the numbers together. You can shout out the answers, or write them down if there’s more of you.
  • Roll a pair of dice and write the numbers down on a piece of paper. Once you have rolled them 5 times, add the 10 numbers that you have together.

Card Games

  • Pontoon or 21 is good for quick fire adding.

Baking & Cooking

From weighing ingredients, to getting children to double or half recipe ingredients. This one always seems to please children, and helps with mass and capacity.

Times Tables

We use to recite them in the car to practice, but B soon tired of this. We’ve made it fun by making each sum into a fun scenario. Here’s some of ours:

  • If dogs wore socks, how many socks would 8 dogs need?
  • I’m putting 3 cherries on 6 cakes. How many do I need?
  • If we are having sausages for dinner and 3 of us want 2 sausages, how many do we need to buy?

Amusement Arcades

Start with £1 in two pence pieces and try and keep count of how much you have whilst playing on a two pence machine.

Measuring

From measuring things from around the house, to the length of the garden, to growing plants. All good fun.

Music

Learning about time signatures, crotchets, quavers and semi breves all help.

Skipping

Try counting in twos, threes, fours etc as you skip

Fractions

From cutting fruit to pizza, this is always a good place to start (and a good excuse for a pizza or cake)

Tally Charts

Get outside and find things to count and collect the data. Social media is always a great place to ask people their favourite things and record the data.

Division

We have a great book called Divide and Ride which makes division a lot more fun! Working out how a group of friends can fit on a ride at a funfair serves a purpose!

Are you a maths lover or a hater? We’d love to know your top maths tips!

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