Math is a skill that most of us use in everyday life one way or another. Measuring, telling time, budgeting, and driving all require a little bit of math that many of us are accustomed to.
If you’re looking to incorporate more math into your child’s life, you might involve them in many of your daily math endeavors. Helping with cooking, shopping, and understanding mileage to and from school when driving are all ways to involve your kids in your daily use of math. You can also create some math-related activities just for them, like helping them open a lemonade stand or showing them how to budget their allowance. Math is an incredibly useful skill, so teaching them some basics early on can help them gain some of the premises that can help them later in life.
Help with Cooking
Cooking involves a lot of measuring, ratios, and understanding relationships. Baking involves even more specific math as the chemistry of each ingredient is really important. Baking can be a fun activity for your kids this summer, which can also incorporate some math skills.
Whether you’re following a specific baking recipe, or experimenting with ingredients in normal cooking, involving your children can teach them valuable life skills in cooking while also increasing their math skills. Your kids can help you to measure, multiply, add, and subtract ingredients while they cook. They can also use math in terms of oven temperatures and cooking times.
Opening a Lemonade Stand
There’s a lot that goes into opening a lemonade stand that can help your child exercise their math skills. Building it involves measuring, and making the lemonade uses ratios and dilutions, skills that transfer into other aspects of life like diluting mom’s essential oils or using cleaning chemicals.
Selling the lemonade involves adding and subtracting money, and learning money management skills. Children will start to learn about supply and demand and profit margins. The math skills here are three fold between building the stand, making the lemonade, and selling it. Even smaller children can help with easier tasks while older kids can grasp more complex aspects of selling a product.
Tagging Along at the Grocery Store
Grocery shopping means sticking to a budget, comparing prices, and weighing produce. Since you’ll be doing these things anyway, you might as well involve your children. Gaining these valuable math skills early on can help them with critical thinking, precision, and the understanding of one of the universal languages.
In addition to helping them with math, it’ll also give them a job so that they may be easier to handle in the store. Ask them to weigh your produce, or to help you find the cheapest pasta sauce. These skills will help them contextualize math in the real world, while also teaching them valuable life skills.
Math and Road Trips
Being on the road involves understanding distance and time, calculating how much gas you’ll need, and understanding miles per hour. Some of these ideas may not be attainable for your child depending on their age, but you can still implement some more basic math problems on the road. Older kids can try to estimate how fast you’ll get to the next location, or how far your tank of gas will get you. Little kids can be entertained by counting the number of blue cars they see, or reading the number of miles to the next city on the road signs you pass. Either way, it’s a fun way to incorporate math on your road trips.
Budgeting Their Allowance
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities are applicable in nearly all areas of life, so it can be helpful for kids to gain an interest and an understanding about them early on. Even something like playing in the mud or watching bubbles pop can help little kids grasp cause-and-effect principles that apply to STEM. In terms of math, budgeting is a lesson that can teach math skills while also teaching them life skills. Math is often easier to grasp in terms of real-world uses instead of teaching larger principals. Help your child learn math by helping them budget their allowance. This can teach fractions and percentages while also teaching them the importance of saving and working hard.
Incorporating math into your child’s life doesn’t have to be taking time out of each day to go through flash cards or multiplication tables. This type of learning can be harder on kids in terms of learning certain math principals and relationships. Instead, incorporate them into your everyday math needs. Cooking, shopping, and driving are all things that require certain math skills.
In addition to that, you can help them start a lemonade stand or make a budget for their allowance. Though those aren’t everyday tasks, they are still tasks that are hands-on and also provide life lessons. Learning math doesn’t have to be difficult or boring — your children can learn a few math concepts in their everyday life, and have fun doing it.