The lazy days of summer are right around the corner. With all of those hours to fill with fun, it is easy to find time for enjoyable learning opportunities as well. Instead of taking a break from learning this summer, help your kids make learning fun. We’ve already looked at ways to incorporate social studies and writing activities into summer fun. Now, let’s explore some ways to use math in fun and real-life ways throughout the season.
Math for Young Minds
Younger kids are learning so many essential math concepts their first years of school. Besides addition and subtraction, there are so many other skills to work on. Consider things like place value, telling time, counting money, etc.
–Place Value: Purchase three different colors of embroidery canvas sheets (available at craft stores). Cut one color into individual squares, another color into strips of ten squares and a third into blocks of 100 squares each. Use these to practice creating numbers in different combinations to visualize the difference between ones, tens, and hundreds.
Another way to practice place value is to create a pocket chart to count the days of summer. Use drinking straws as counters. Using baggies taped to a white board, create pockets for tens and ones.
Label the bags. Have your child add a straw each day and label the bags according to how many are in each. Each time the ones bag has ten straws, bundle it with a rubber band and add it to the tens column.
Talk to your child about how only one number can be written for each bag so if two numbers are needed it is time to move it to the next pouch.
–Telling Time: Before your child leaves for a play date or slumber party, create a card for them with a stamped or drawn ANALOG clock showing what time they’ll need to be back home. Have them figure out what time it is as a fun little game and a sweet “miss you” card. Create a series of clocks without hands on paper and have them draw in the hands and say the time as a practice of telling time.
–Counting Money: Money seems to be one of those concepts that can be super tricky for kids. Give them practice with coins in particular by having them pay for a movie or other activity in coins only, and require that they give exact change. If there is an incentive of a fun event tied to them being able to figure out how to pay for it correctly, there will also be motivation to really learn their coins!
Make it a game at the grocery store to figure out how much money mom is going to save using coupons by having them add up all of the coupons. Don’t expect them to understand coupon doubling, but it can be a fun way for kids to practice money and learn the practical value of couponing early on by counting and adding up the face value of all of them. Surprise them on a shopping trip and let them keep the money you saved by using coupons after they’ve figured out that amount!
Math for Youth
As kids get older, there are still plenty of math concepts needing attention and practice. Use the summer as a time to invite your pre-teen or teenager into your family’s financial realm a bit. This could include things like showing them how you write checks to pay for their sporting events, letting them plan and figure out savings for an upcoming grocery shopping trip or figuring out their budget with you for summer activities and camps. You could even try playing the board game Monopoly as a family and talking about the real-life economic connections in the game. Teaching kids how to use and save money at an early age and informing them about other financial topics will be an incredible blessing to them later on, and it will be fun for them to get to participate in some simple financial decisions alongside you.
It seems that many adults, not just kids, are scared of math! Let this summer be a time when you discover how valuable math is by simply sharing your world and the “real” world of how math is all around us.
If you love this post, make sure to also check out these which are part of our Children’s Summer Learning series:
Interactive Children’s Science Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Math Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Writing Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Social Studies Activities for Summertime