For example, when setting the table, ask your child to fetch four spoons ‘just like this one’. What’s the maths involved with this? Here your child is counting out four spoons and the ability to recognise and match items is a very important mathematical skill. Playing card games like Snap, or Matching Pairs is excellent practice for this too.
Another example, when playing at launching a rocket, start the countdown … and let them complete it! 10, 9, 8, …. The ability to count up and down is important.
Playing boules at the beach, how do you decide who has won? Understanding the comparatives such as nearest and furthest, shortest and tallest, heaviest and lightest are very important mathematical concepts that parents can help their child with through conversations using everyday situations.
And of course, singing Nursery Rhymes, ‘One, two buckle my shoe…’
Starting off like this, I encourage parents to start thinking of their own examples and usually parents then begin to recognise the things they are already doing to help, and that causes them to feel encouraged and enthused, just like the mother I mentioned!
I discuss some more activities on my website, in my books, Help Your Child With Numeracy, and Maths for Parents. See also the activities on the National Numeracy Parent Toolkit.
Have fun with making maths part of your everyday life with your child. Remember...
If parents engage with their children's education, the attainment of the child will increase by 15% no matter what the social background of the family.
Professor Charles Deforges