Six tips for making maths fun

It is common for students to struggle with maths, but you can overcome this by making math fun. When maths is fun, your child will feel more encouraged to participate in lessons, which will help them better understand concepts. But how do you make maths more fun? 

Praise mistakes and use them as learning opportunities

For many students, a major problem with maths is the fear of making mistakes. Most maths questions only have a single right answer, and that puts too much pressure on students. Overcome this by showing your child that mistakes are not a problem. Instead, they are a learning opportunity. 

Teach your child that mistakes are just one step on the path to success. Take it a step further and find the logic within the incorrect answers. This way, you can reinforce that your child understands one concept while getting them on the path to understanding another. 

Encourage flexible thinking with numbers 

As you try making math fun, encourage your child to think flexibly about numbers. This is a type of thinking that allows them to rearrange or regroup numbers and explore different ways of solving a problem.

One study from Warner et. al. highlighted just how important flexible thinking is in the future growth of mathematical understanding.

Play games that use maths skills in free time 

Perhaps the best way of making maths fun is to incorporate math-related games into your child’s daily life. In your free time, make an effort to choose games that use maths in some capacity. Some great examples are Mastermind, Yahtzee, Mancala, and Blokus. Guess Who is also a good choice; although it is not related to maths, it helps with logical thinking. You can also opt for any board game that uses dice, matching card games, dice games, or even playing “shops.” 

Use visuals to your advantage

As you work to get your child involved in maths and to enjoy it, be sure to incorporate visuals as well as raw numbers. Instead of just using word problems, for example, include pictures with them. Or you can opt for three-dimensional visuals. The classic example would be teaching math along with cubes or blocks, which are great for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. 

Connect maths to the real world 

To make maths fun, you need to show your child that it will be useful in the world. This is as easy as connecting it to the real world. This can be as simple as framing word problems in the context of your child’s favourite characters. Or you can find songs that incorporate mathematical concepts.

The ways to incorporate maths into the real world in your lessons are limitless. When your child is still learning the basics, make it a point to measure and compare everything in the house, from people’s heights to the capacity of containers. 

No matter your child’s age, you can apply maths to the real world while making math fun by incorporating money. This can even overlap with playing games that involve maths, such as if you have a play “shop” and have your child take care of the till. One of the best ways to connect maths to the real world is to help them with saving money and choosing what to spend it on. As a bonus, this will help teach them financial responsibility. 

Start with maths as early as possible

Although it is not possible to go back in time, you should make it a point to start teaching your child maths from an early age. Even young children can handle counting and sequencing before they even get to preschool in many cases. Get in the habit of counting everything with your child and they will quickly develop an enthusiasm for maths. Keep in mind that most kids can count to at least 10 by age 4. 

When your child is still young, most of the introduction to maths will come from games. The key here is that many children will not even realise they are learning if you frame the activities properly, such as asking how many dolls they have. 


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