Marvellous maths tips!

Maths seems to be hated by many – I was one of these people until I realised the fun you could have with it!

Maths is great in that you can incorporate it into normal day to day activities. A lot of primary maths is about the language that you use and the understanding of the words.

I have listed the following normal activities and how you could enhance these to get in a bit of extra learning – all without the use of technology!

1. Go on a themed walk

Shape hunt

You could name the shapes as you go – what can you think of that is that shape?

When you get home, you could search for matching shapes, you could make your own shapes and make tessellating patterns.

You could link the 2D and 3D shapes – e.g. here is a square, can you find a 3D shape with a square?

Colour hunt

Can you find all the colours of the rainbow? Link to English and see if you can name as many colour words e.g. red could be ruby, scarlett, vermilion, claret.

Can you find other colours in a different shade. You could recreate the shades in colouring pencils or paint. even watercolours.

Number hunt

Which numbers can you find? Younger children could find numbers to 20 – you could talk about 2/3 digit numbers. What is one more or less? What will the next number be? Were you right? Spot the odds and evens – you could create funny dances or sounds to go with the odd or even finds!

Finding multiples of 374

Older children could use the four operations with numbers found. Perhaps they

could work out the range from the very first house in the street to the very end. Could they work out the average of all the numbers found?

Can they find the multiples of the numbers e.g. find 43 – what is 2 x, 5 x and 10 x that number? What about 4 x, 20 x and 100x what do they notice about the relationship between these numbers?

2. Get outside

Collect objects on a walk or from the garden – how can these be sorted? There are no wrong answers here! Could they sort into straight/curved, natural/artificial and so on.

You could ask questions such as sort them into equal size groups/ a group with 4 or more items. If we lined up all the objects, which group would be the biggest/smallest?

Older children could sort into Venn/Carroll diagrams – this could be in chalk on the floor or paper inside. Older children could even try making a PowerPoint or ICT related program.

Again on a walk, children could estimate the number of flowers in a field/the length of the field. If older, you could talk about the perimeter/area of the field. How high is the telegraph pole/building? You don’t need to use standardised measures. You could estimate how many footsteps long it is, how many ‘daddy’s high’ is the pole? Estimating is not always about getting the right answer – more about the educated guess!

3. Get messy!

Baking is a fabulous maths learning activity. Children need to estimate the ingredients when weighing out, reading scales and measuring jugs is also a very worthwhile activity.

Making playdough is wonderful as there is a whole host of things you can use playdough for (see below!). Kneading and combining is great for those fingers and fine motor skills needed for handwriting.

You could scale up or down recipes to make more. You could double/halve – both good concepts to understand.

You can talk about the capacity of the containers you are using – estimate how many egg cups it would take to fill the jug/bowl/sink. This could also be taken outside for water play! Do the children understand the difference between capacity of the container and the volume of the liquid you are using? Can they measure out a specific volume of water/milk.

4. Playdough

Playdough is such a fun learning resource! Not only for maths; it can also be used to make the shape of numbers/letters. Form an imprint of a magnetic number (or letter) and then see if your child can work out which one it is.

‘Playdough disco’ is a fab youtube find – good for developing hand muscles and fun too!

3x table array

Other maths activities include:

Making a certain number of balls/shapes – can you double these? What would half of this group be etc.

Make a times table array e.g. groups of 3’s – they can then physically count the dots to help work out random times table facts

Children could create shapes and cut them in half or quarters.

They could find the lines of symmetry in certain shapes.

There are lots of fun ways to make maths accessible, without iPad games. Whilst they have their place, it is also important children are able to link maths to real-life scenarios. Give them a go, I would love to hear what you think! Even better, I would love to see photos of you enjoying the maths learning with the activities listed here!

If you are looking for more maths help, I am running 1:1 and group sessions via Zoom. I am also sending out distance learning work packs so get in touch today to see if I can help!

I also have a collection of my favourite hands on maths activities on my pinterest board, which can be found here: Tamarind Tutoring on Pinterest

3. Get baking!

Baking in itself is a fabulous maths activity. The weighing out of the ingredients – they are estimating, reading scales and larger numbers.

You could take it a step further and scale up a recipe. Making playdough is an excellent activity as there are so many things to do with playdough (see below!).

Measuring containers – you could talk about the capacity of the container, estimate how many egg cups it would take to fill a large bowl or a sink.

This could be taken outside and done through water play. Measure out certain volumes of liquid, do the children understand the difference between the capacity of the container and the volume within it?