## Simple ideas to make math fun

Face it. Math can be hard, but parents can help their kids love math. However, with the new methods being taught in school, parents can be just as dumbfounded as kids. Math isn’t always easy or simple. There’s no denying that, but having math skills is important for many common daily activities: making change, cooking, shopping, and even organizing for a party.  So, how can parents help kids understand and love math? Parents are the first teachers, so creating simple activities and interactions for children can create a strong foundation for later learning. Parents and caregivers need to focus on making math fun for kids.

## Math can be a Game

Math games are already a apart of what kids do, they just don’t realize it: computer games, sports, and board games all have aspects of math built right in. Kids are never too young to learn board games, even challenging ones like chess. As a game of strategy and planning, chess can help kids understand patterns, problem solving and spatial relationships without even trying.

Think about involving the whole family when playing games. Make a mental note of the math possibilities and quiz your kids before they make a move or have their turn. When out bowling, have you kids count the number of pins knocked down and calculate the remaining pins before they throw their next ball. Before you know it, simple subtraction becomes second nature.

### Make Math a part of daily activities.

This is easy, the hard part is remembering to use these common actives as a lesson.  When cooking, create time to let your kids help. Sure, they will slow you down, but the together time is even more important than the lessons sometimes. Pay attention and you’ll see examples of counting,, fractions, addition, measuring and estimation.

When driving to the store your GPS is a great source of fun. Let your kids help navigate, turn down the sound and have your kids call out the directions: “turn right, go left” etc.  Have them estimate the travel time, guess the distance, and bet on your arrival time.  When at the supermarket, ask your child to estimate the total cost of the items in the cart or let them help you chose the less expensive items.

And the winner is…

When your child starts to show improvement with their math skills, reward them. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but words of encouragement do go a long way. Or give a simple reward like a special dessert or an extra hour of TV. Simple things can encourage your kids to keep learning. Positive reinforcement like this works wonders.

### Search the library for math activities

When students see our Superhero Math Assembly show in their school, they’ll often visit the library in search of magic books. Many magic tricks use mathematical principals and you’ll even find Mathemagic books that feature tricks with numbers. When kids learn secrets of little-known magic tricks the develop self-esteem and will become self-motivated to learn even more.

Keep it fun.

Kids love learning and learn best when the lessons are fun. Keep it fun but challenging and you’ll have a math whizkid before you know it.