Number Numbness: How to Get Kids Excited About Math

girl in front of chalkboard

The secret to learning well is to make learning fun. When kids are excited about new things, they are more ready to show initiative when it comes to picking up the pace of learning. Showing a child the practical side of math at an early age will help to engage their interest. Here are a few tricks to get them excited about numbers and help them keep an open mind.

Games

Playing board games is an opportunity to teach children math skills. A Monopoly board, for instance, has 40 squares. Use this activity to show a child “tricks” to use for moving their token. Have them roll the dice and count up the number of squares they will move. As they get older, show them the relation of rent, and the price of hotels and houses on each street.

Puzzles

When a child is old enough, get them a Rubik’s Cube. Also, get them the solution to the cube after they’ve had a couple of days to get frustrated with it. If you wait too long to get the solution, it will likely end up in a dark corner of their room, never to be seen again. When they have a guide, it will encourage them to find the answer for themselves.

Food

At the youngest age, pieces of cereal are a great way to teach a child to count, add or subtract. It also doubles as reward for correct answers. A pie or a pizza is one of the best tools for teaching fractions. As the child becomes older, make it more interesting by using multiple pies or pizzas.

Money

When your child wants a bicycle or cell phone, take the opportunity to teach them the principles of interest, by paying them interest when you hold their allowance. This trick has other obvious lessons as well. Have them learn to count money and pay for things whenever possible.

Practice

When it comes time to learn trigonometry, go out in the yard with your son or daughter. Take a tape measure with you, and learn how to measure the height of a tree. You may have to learn it with them, but there is nothing like seeing mathematics at work in this way. If they start to show more interested in math and science consider going to a professional. A physics teacher or a http://engineering.online.ohio.edu/civil/ student can be great people to talk to when getting kids excited for careers in the mathematical field.

If your child knows at an early age what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll both have a leg up on what to learn. The time you spend with your child now in this endeavor will be one of the best investments you can make of you and your child’s time.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids revved up about math.

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