Helping your child understand basic maths concepts doesn’t have to be a chore or a bore. Follow these four tips to discover how it can be child’s play.
Maths is like Marmite: some people love it, while others loathe it. But there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a crucial life skill.
That’s why schools across the country will celebrate Number Day this week (3 February) by hosting maths games and competitions*.
A solid grasp of functional maths is vital for managing day-to-day finances and accessing educational and work opportunities. (It’s not just accountants and bankers who need to be confident with numbers. Many jobs, from nurse to builder, chef and estate agent, require good numeracy skills.)
The good news for parents is that they don’t need to be experts at algebra or trigonometry to get their child started with maths. It just takes a bit of time and a sense of fun. Here are four top tips.
1) Play games
Dominoes, checkers, chess and Uno help improve number and pattern recognition, while dice games like Yahtzee are a great way to practise calculations. And then, of course, there’s that old favourite, Monopoly, which will give your child a crash course in maths, banking, property management and conflict resolution.
Whipping up a batch of cupcakes or cookies is an excellent way for children to learn about counting, measuring and time. And they can enjoy eating the fruits of their labours afterwards.
A trip to the corner shop can be a great learning opportunity. Compare products and prices and talk about which items represent the best value. When it comes to paying, use cash. Explain how much you’re handing over and the change you expect in return. When your child is old enough, let them handle the coins and notes themselves; they’ll revel in their newfound sense of responsibility.
Have a stall at a school fair or car boot sale – and get your child involved. Encourage them to sell toys or clothes they no longer want and let them decide on the pricing.
From all of us here at Johnsons, thanks for reading.
* Number Day is an initiative of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.