Make math part of your child’s day

  • Include your child in everyday activities that involve math: making purchases, measuring ingredients, counting out plates and utensils for dinner.
  • Treat errors as opportunities to help your child learn something new.
  • Encourage your child to tell you whenever he or she discovers a new way in which numbers are used.
  • Practice “skip counting” together. Count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. Start at different numbers to begin.
  • Compare and organize household items: take cereal boxes or cans from the cupboard and have your child line them up from tallest to shortest.
  • Talk about time. Ask your child to check the time on the clock when he or she goes to school, eats meals, and goes to bed. Together look up the time of a television program your child wants to watch. Record on a calendar the time of your child’s favourite away from home activity.
  • Keep a record of the daily temperature outside.
  • Estimate everything! Estimate the number of steps from the house to the car, or from the kitchen to the bedroom. Estimate how many jugs of milk your family will need in one week. Estimate the number of minutes a trip will take or the number of kilometers it is.
  • Play “I Spy” looking for different shapes. “I spy something that is round.” “I spy something that is rectangular.” “I spy something that looks like a cone.”
  • Ask your child to draw a picture/map of your street or neighbourhood. Talk about where your home is in relation to a neighbour’s home or the corner store. Use directional words and phrases like beside and to the right of.
  • Create patterns using your body. Clap and stomp your feet in a particular sequence (clap, clap, stomp), have your child repeat the same sequence, and then create variations of the pattern together.
  • Explore patterns created by numbers. Look on a one hundred chart and get your child to point out any patterns that he or she sees.
  • Make a food chart. Create a chart to record the number of apples, oranges, bananas, and other fruit your family eats each day. At the end of the month, have your child count the number of pieces of each type of fruit eaten. Ask how many more of one kind of fruit were eaten than of another. What was your family’s least favourite fruit that month?