Fostering a child’s love of mathematics is entirely possible, even if they lack confidence in their numerical skills.
Rod Bristow, Head of Pearson UK, recently told The Telegraph that: ‘Children are being turned off mathematics at a young age – and failing to match the standards attained in other countries – because the subject is increasingly seen as meaningless to their lives.’ There are a number of interactive maths activities that will develop children’s learning in this area and bring the subject to life.
Around the house
Children can count household objects such as beads or pasta shapes into a jar, or make estimates about how many there are in a container. They can also measure out cooking ingredients and adjust measurements in recipes according to the group of people they are catering for.
Reading books that present opportunities for counting, or other areas of maths such as shape and space, can help children build up their mathematical knowledge naturally. Nursery rhymes are also ideal for building counting skills.
Around you local area
Children can play a number of outdoor games that will foster counting and other numerical competencies. Playing sports that will need children to keep score in the form of a tally could help them improve their data handling skills. Children can also play games such as hopscotch, which requires them to jump across a sequence of numbers.
Going on a ‘shape or number hunt’ in the local area is also the perfect way for children to strengthen their maths skills.
On the internet
Children are using the computer and the internet from nursery age in schools nowadays and there are a number of interactive games that will encourage their engagement with mathematics. Choose games that are age-appropriate and give children the opportunity to work out problems independently. The graphics and characters used in many online maths games will help children associate numeracy with fun, and they will be eager to develop their knowledge in this area.