If you have kids in middle and upper primary, try these ideas to add maths into your everyday life without much fuss!
- When playing board games (e.g. snakes and ladders or monopoly), use two dice. Let the kids choose if they want to move forwards by both, back by both, or forwards by one and backwards by the other.
- Let the child work out the logistics for their birthday party (or dinner, or a camping trip etc.) – how many cups, plates, packets of lollies etc. for the guests… as well as the timing (e.g. everyone will be here by 4:00 so we will play games until 4:30 and then serve cake. That will take 15 minutes. Then…)
- Arrange groups of objects into different arrays (like 12 muffins in a tin vs 12 eggs in a carton). Use existing arrays for calculations (e.g. looking at a wall of shoes in a sports shop, work out how many shoes that represents, calculate how many rooms in a hotel by counting the floors and the number of windows in each floor)
- Talk about how likely something is to happen and give your surety a numerical measure (e.g. a 50% chance of rain vs a 90% chance of rain according to the weather predictions)
- Let the kids cook – particularly recipes involving fractions of cups etc.
- Plan routes on maps. Work out the total distances involved, but also talk about the traffic and whether one route would be faster.
- When on the highway, estimate how long it would take to get to the next town given the speed limit and distance.
- Budget and save for holidays or larger items. Work out a payment plan (e.g. washing up is worth $__ but mowing the lawn is worth $__). Get them to figure out how to earn the amount of money that they want. Consider incentives (e.g. every time you save $20 we will contribute another $5) or loans (yes you can borrow the $50 from us, but you have to pay us back $55).