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No Homework Tonight? Fun Activities With Your Math Tool Kits!

math homework tonight?Recently I suggested an easy way for parents to be ready to support early elementary math homework, by keeping a Math Tool Kit handy!  But when there’s no homework assigned, you can also use your kit to have some family math fun.  It’s a little like putting vegetables in the lasagna: your kids will have fun practicing their math skills!

Money fun

  • Using the dice and the bag of change your child can brush up on money skills. Players take turns rolling the dice and adding the numbers together to determine how much they get from the “bank” (the bag of change). If you roll a four and a two you get $.06. As the money piles up kids can trade money in: trade five pennies for a nickel for example. After each player has five turns, the player with the greatest amount wins!

Dice play for any age level

  • Very young children can roll one or two dice. For the number that comes up, ask your child to show you that many counters; this is working on the concept of one-to-one correspondence. If you want to increase the challenge, roll one die again and take away (or add) that many. Ask your child, “How many counters do you have now?”
  • With older students, each player makes a 6 x 6 grid, numbering it one to six across the top and down a side. One player rolls two dice, then adds the two numbers together (or you can play with multipliers) and fills the answer in on the right square of the grid. If a one and six is rolled, that player goes over one and down six and writes the answer in that box. The first player to fill in their grid wins.

Finding patterns

  • Use the bag of coins or the counters in your Math Tool Kit to practice finding patterns. You start by placing six items on the table in a given order. For example, your pattern might be: dime, nickel, penny, dime, nickel, penny. Then ask your child, “What will the next three items be?” Ask him or her to make the same pattern but with different counters, such as yellow, red, and green buttons.
  • With older children, you can start by making a pattern with about ten objects, but taking out the fourth, fifth, and sixth objects. Have your child name the items that are missing. Or you can give them number patterns to solve. Try skip counting numbers (2, 6, 10, 14) or a growing pattern (1, 3, 6, 10).

I’m sure you can come up with more math games too, now that you have your Math Kit handy. Put them to use and make tonight a Family Math Night!

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