# Math the Fun Way

Math the fun way is the best way to learn math. Mathematicians play with numbers and patterns. We don't do math, we play math. Your children will love math if you'll play math with them. You're creating great mathematicians. Lets learn how to help kids get excited about math! Excitement is contagious, so get excited about math with your kids. If you're not great at math, that's okay. We'll help you play math the fun way. It's never too late to learn math!

Our family has a traditional math curriculum that we follow, but it usually takes less than 5 minutes a day to complete those assignments. The assignments are easy because the concept foundation has already been built. If I find they are struggling with some concepts, we play games or do math activities that help reinforce concepts they don't understand. Most of our math time is spent playing.

Fun Math Games for Kids

If we're going to do math the fun way, we need a lot of fun math games for kids. The games don't have to be complicated to be effective. Math games are online and offline. You'll buy games and make games. Some games won't take any materials at all.

Feel free to adapt the game, change the game, and improve the game. Some games will work for some children, but won't work for others. That's okay. Be flexible  If a game isn't working for your child, then move on to a new game or activity. If your child is super excited about a particular math game, then stay with it and teach as many math concepts as you can while you play with your children.

## Manipulatives in Math

We want to use manipulatives in our math activities. Math is usually perceived as a left brain activity, but it is also a right brain activity. We want our children to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. If we can teach math with 3D hands-on models, then let's do it. This will go a long way in building a solid foundation for more abstract mathematical thinking.

## Math the Fun Way Activities

When we do math the fun way, we support our math instruction with activities. In addition to games, there are many activities we can do. The goal is to have fun and play. Let's see how many different math activities we can do with our children.

Variety is key. Let's do different things each day. Keep it new. Keep it exciting. If your children are super interested in an activity, they'll play math on their own time. You are there to stimulate their creativity and introduce new ideas and concepts.

## Building Real Life Math Skills

Math is all around us. We cook with math. We build with math. We sew with math. We create music with math. We garden with math. We do mechanics with math. We manage our money with math. We go to the store with math. We draw with math. We design with math. We manage our business with math. . . the list goes on.

Relevant math lessons come up everyday, so take advantage of those moments.

For instance, when we were figuring out how the girls could become better spellers this year, they decided they wanted to learn 20 new spelling words each week. I asked six-year-old Belinda, "If you learn the same number of words each day for four days, how many words do you need to learn each day to learn 20 words a week?" I gave her a visual representation of 20. I held up my two hands, and had her hold up her two hands. The other two girls were excited to tell her the answer, but I told them to wait and let her figure it out. She thought for a while as she looked at our 20 fingers on 4 hands. Her eyes brightened up and she said, "5"! That's right!  Good Job! She just did the problem 20รท4=5, and we didn't even say a word about division. The math problem was relevant to her, and she intuitively got the concept.

If you're looking, you'll find many applicable math story problems each week. Take time to talk about these everyday math problems throughout your week.