Maths difficult? Not any more. Teaching mathematics can be fun with some play way methods, at all ages.Here are a few pro tips from Ms. Abhrekha Jain Sahlot (Also read- Worklife balance tips for working mothers by Abhrekha Jain Sahlot) on how to get your kids interested in mathematics.
For Toddlers Children (Age: 3-5)
Games such as Snakes and Ladder or TAMBOLA (Housie) helps children to do simple additions and teach basics of mathematics. “Snakes and Ladders” is one of my favorite games which I often play with my 4 year old and he easily understands the movements of going forward and backward. He jumps with joy whenever snake pulls me down. Hence, simple and happy way to teach him some addition and subtraction.
Kids simply enjoy rolling dice and with each win, they get more motivated. They feel sense of achievement when every time the number we call in TAMBOLA is present in the card/ticket they have. Thus, making their time more fulfilling.
Simple Worksheets/Colorful Activity Books:
My son gets elated when I give him new colors and activity book to solve simple sums or trace the numerals. At end of each chapter/assignment he gives himself a star or excellent remark.
Role Play as Teacher:
Kids enjoy playing their teacher and loves using white board /markers or black boards/slate and chalks. You can play with them as becoming student and try to understand their fundamentals and correct them if required.I am sure you will love this way of teaching mathematics and enjoy some quality time with your kids.
Vegetable Vendor/ Shop Keeper:
My younger one often comes with me for buying vegetables/ groceries and he loves to role play as vegetable vendor or shop owner. We can give them grapes/ potatoes or toys to display and tell them to give us a certain count of toys, like give me 5 red cars etc. He also makes a bill in the end and I wish my real grocery bill also was of that amount as he often adds up everything to either 0 or below 10 Rs. ?
For Young Children (Age: 6-12)
My elder one loves playing cards (regular ones) or UNO. I remember lot of probability questions in my class tenth were based on playing cards. Hence, I encourage my son to play cards of course not involving any money or gamble, till I can control ?
Fun with Calculator:
They also love using calculator, while we should not allow them using it during studies, but am sure if they land up in a corporate job like mine, they shall be using Excel formulas and macros and will regret learning big lengthy formulas in school/college ?
Shopkeeper Role Play:
Get them one balance or create one at home, let them weigh and calculate the corresponding amount. Let them write item, quantity and cost against each line item. A balance could be made at home by using empty shoe polish boxes and threads or you may check for other alternatives and make something out of waste available at home.A small diary/ rough book could be given to them to make bills etc.
Teaching mathematics through SUDOKU
They can solve SUDOKU in newspaper everyday or SUDOKU books and puzzles can also be solved at home. There are online SUDOKU games also available. Crosswords for mathematics could also be solved
Other Classes :
They can also join Abacus Class or other non-conventional methods for mathematics teaching. They teach mathematics differently and children might be interested in knowing those techniques for faster calculations etc.
Let them use measuring cups and prepare cake or cookies. They need to ensure right proportion has been taken of each ingredient to make delicious food. Measuring spoons can also be used as an alternate.
Plan some outdoor games and keep the hint as some mathematics equation. This shall help your reasoning and logical skills to develop. In a play way method, children shall learn solving mathematics and would eventually get more interested in playing such inquisitive games.
Online Games /Apps:
Children can also download some mathematics related puzzles and test papers. They could submit it online and take the assessments. Difficulty levels can also be varied based on the skills and interests of children.
For Teenagers (Age 13 and Above)
Join or form Mathematics Club
Check in an around your society for any good library/club that support mathematics as fundamental subject. Or otherwise create small group of your friends who are interested in the subject and are open for various experiments for learning the same.
Search for informative youtube videos that have problem solving techniques and help you correlate with your existing subjects. This shall give you an extra edge. This series of brainy videos explores all things number related (as you might have guessed) and, while the content is smart, it’s really clarifies higher levels of mathematics. It’s way more helpful than some of us parents can be, admittedly.
Girls can stich some short skirts or dresses, they need to ensure correct measurements etc. Alternatively, they could build some artifacts out of paper or waste or pottery with required measurements and dimensions.
Teens could accompany parents for field trips. That shall give them the sense of distance and time taken, I still remember the formula, Speed = Distance/Time ?.
So, practical examples will help us understand formulas in more fundamental way.
Being an engineer, I always thought my association with Mathematics as subject would go once I complete engineering, however, seems mathematics is in our day to day lives and will be with us till we are alive, whether it is counting dishes to wash or to counting number of holidays left for vacation. Mathematics is integral part of life ?
About the author of this article-
Abhrekha Jain Sahlot, the name is derivative of her parent’s name ( Abhay & Rekha).
She is full of life, energy and enthusiasm.
A gold medalist computer engineer she has been working with top MNC for over 13 years now.
Recommended mathematics games: