One way to help kids who resist learning any subject is to make it fun and enjoyable with games and other activities.
Children really enjoy fun maths games and they develop lots of skills whilst playing.
As well as providing some family fun, these maths games for children have the added advantage of presenting learning opportunities in a way that means that children may not even realise they’re learning!
Hunt for shapes
Give your child a sheet with shapes printed on to find around the house or garden. When they find a shape on the sheet they have to trace it on the worksheet and then mark it to keep track of how many times they’ve seen it.
Stand Up, Sit Down
This game is so straightforward and can be adapted to suit the children’s level. You pick a number and the children stand if the answer to an equation matches that number. If it isn’t they remain seated. You can change the requirements to suit the level of your children. You can tell the children to stand if the answer is for example greater than 10 or an odd number or a multiple of 4.
For this you simply get the children on their feet and start marching whilst counting in different ways.
For example, get the children to count forwards, backwards, skip counting or counting on from a given number.
You could mix this up by instead of marching, you could try stomping like a giant, hopping like a rabbit or jumping like a frog but still counting as they do it.
Fishing for Number
This is a great game for number recognition.
What you need are some number flashcards. Attach a paperclip on the back of each flashcard with a piece of Sellotape.
To make the fishing rod you need a stick with a piece of string tied to it. Get a magnet and tie it to the other end of the string. You now have a magnetic fishing rod.
Place the number flashcards face down. The children fish a number with the magnetic rod. They have to say what the number is then do that number of jumps whilst counting.
Make and place number cards 0 to 12 on the ground or table and turn all the Dominos upside-down. Take turns to flip a domino over, count all of the dots and place it on the appropriate number card.
For younger children only go up to the number they know or are working on but make sure you take the larger number Domino’s out of the pile.
Math Problem Scavenger Hunt
All children enjoy a scavenger hunt, so why not make one based around maths?
What do you need to play? Some creativity and a home full of measurable objects!
Give children a sheet with some pre-set weights and lengths on. It will then be a challenge for them to find something in the house that is, for example, approximately 10cm long, or something that weighs 300g.
Get your child to gather all of the items they think match the weights and lengths on the sheet, and check how well they have done with some kitchen scales and a tape measure!
The Yes/No Game
This is another simple game and it’s also a good way to get in practice of 2d shapes and 3d shapes, which as parents we can sometimes avoid.
What you need to play:
A series of cards/pieces of paper
Both players put a card on their head. It could have a number on it, a shape or other math related item.
The first player asks a question which can only be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’, for example ‘Am I odd?’ ‘Am I under 20?’ ‘Do I have 4 sides?’
They keep asking questions until they get the answer correct, or they run out of turns (you can set the number of turns they get at the beginning of the game). Then it is time for the other player to have a go.
The main thing is to make maths fun for children. Hope some of these ideas will help. If you do need some math worksheets to help your kids have a look at this list of free math printables.