Throughout the summer, math is absolutely the last thing on a child’s mind. Instead, watching their favorite TV show, playing with a new toy, or literally, any other activity takes precedence over learning math skills. However, sharpening a kid’s math skills and keeping them engaged and active over the summer is extremely beneficial and important. What if we told you that there was a fun and engaging way for your child to practice their math skills, while also spending much needed time outside? Read on for four fun, simple, outdoor math games for your kids this summer.
The Number Line Game
This game is uncomplicated to set up and can be modified for kids individually based on age group. To set up this game, the only supplies you will need are chalk and a sidewalk or pavement. With the chalk, start by drawing a long line. Feel free to make this line either straight or a little creative to make the game more challenging. Next, draw little, horizontal lines along the bigger, vertical line and try to space these lines out as evenly as possible. Lastly, number the lines from 0 to at least 25. The more numbers included, the more challenging the game will be.
For preschoolers: Have your preschooler first begin by walking along the line and counting the numbers. If they get bored quickly, randomly call out numbers and have your child run to that number line as quickly as possible. This is a great way to practice number recognition, especially for those numbers that are more confusing.
For K-5: For your more advanced children, you can make this game more challenging by having them stand on a random number and either add, subtract, multiply, or even divide that number into another. When they have an answer, have them run to that number as fast as possible. Playing this game with other equally skilled children is recommended to make the game seem more competitive and engaging. Also, you can create other additional rules, like players must hop on one leg to get to their new math answer.
Beach Ball Facts
This summer, you will most likely visit the pool at least a couple of times. While pools cater more towards older kids, beach ball facts is a quick, fun pool game that can make pool visits more enjoyable and productive.
For this activity, you will need a non-permanent marker, a colorful blow-up beach ball, and a pool (optional). Start by writing several, age-appropriate equations on the beach ball but do not write their answers. While you are standing either outside or in the pool, throw the ball randomly. Whoever acquires or catches the ball first must answer the equation that their right-hand touches, as quickly as possible. To make it more challenging, you can also add a time limit or even elimination rules. Once all the equations are answered correctly, wipe the ball down and create some new ones.
Hula Hoop Multiplication (K-5 and older)
Sometimes, kids need to be active – while simultaneously learning. This game combines hula hooping and multiplication and is specifically for elementary school-aged children; who have learned basic or advanced multiplication tables.
For this game, you will need a hula hoop, small container (bowl, hat, etc.), and paper. On torn-up pieces of paper, adults should write down age-appropriate multiplication problems and put them into the small container. While one child is hula hooping, have another child (or you) randomly pull out the multiplication tables from the container and state them aloud. As they continue to hula hoop, the child must recite the correct answers within a set amount of time, such as 10 seconds. If they get an answer wrong or drop the hula hoop, their turn is over. The child with the highest sequence of correct answers wins.
Math Treasure Hunt (Preschool)
Practically all preschoolers love finding hidden objects. Fortunately, we have a simple game that includes both finding objects and math. For this activity, all you will need is “treasure,” such as beads, toy coins, small action figures, or something similar. Hide at least 15 of these objects around your yard or child’s playground and have your child search for them. Upon finding all the objects, have your child count how many objects they have total; and, if you are playing with multiple children, determine who has the most objects. You can also assign each child a specific number of objects to find to work on basic numeric skills.
Here at Primary Beginnings, we care about each and every child’s learning and development- especially their math skills. Also, we are a locally owned and operated child care center in Raleigh. Our staff is certified to help your child meet his or her developmental goals. To learn more about our educational programs or any other program provided, please call our North Hills location at 919.785.0303 and Spring Forest location at (919) 790-6888.