The follow is a post from contributing writer Demetria of Christian Homeschool Moms.
While many children can sit still and work through a set of math problems each day without a hitch, many children cannot. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of learning style differences or the way a child receives sensory input from his environment. Here are a few tips for you that I’ve found helpful in teaching math to my youngest child who just needs to get her wiggles out more often than not.
Dancing to Math Facts
Yep, it’s dancing, jumping, twirling, and leaping that gets the math juices flowing in my home! Sometimes I pop in an addition facts song CD or skip counting songs (Math U See has a great one), and I’ll have my daughter jump around while reciting her math facts.
There is something about moving the body to music that cements the math facts in her brain. I’m not sure how it happens, but it works for us!
Mixing Art With Math
Sometimes kids just need a little creative fun with colors! Break out the paints, markers, crayons, and glitter glue to create number pictures, color a certain number of objects, or have them pick a favorite number and a favorite object and get inspired to create something totally out of the box.
Hop-Scotch Skip Counting
In this activity, we use duct tape on our tile floors to outline the squares of our hopscotch game (or set it up outside with sidewalk chalk). We write numbers we’re working on in the squares and practice our skip counting while hopping from square to square.
Multiplication Grid Hop
This activity is great for kids who are learning their times tables but just need to vary up the worksheets a bit. Instead of sitting at a desk with workbook and pencil at hand, chalk up a 10X10 grid on your sidewalk with numbers you’ll need for the math problems. If you give your kid “3 times 6,” then he will hop up 3 and over 6, which ultimately lands him on 18.
Movement, again, is key, and when my kids are jumping about in a fun way, math facts just seem to stick.
These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to getting your kids moving. Kinesthetic learners need just a little bit more planning in helping them to learn by actively engaging both fine motor and gross motor skills.
As you get to know your child best, it will be easy to pick out the activities that work well for you. Hopefully, before long, your student will be asking for the next math lesson before you even have it prepared.
What are some of your favorite hands on math activities for your kids?
Demetria is a homeschooling mama of two. She blogs and runs the Christian Homeschool Moms Podcast and enjoys helping other homeschooling moms with ideas for making life easier on the home front.
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