Do you need help to keep your child’s math skills sharp this summer? Throw out those tedious workbooks that no kid wants to sit and trudge through when the sun is shining and the heat is rising. Instead, make it fun and use games to help your child master the skills they learned in school last year. They’ll start the coming school year fresh and confident in their mathematical abilities! Below are five engaging math games to sneak in some summer learning.
Add-It-Up! Archery Set ($49) Lakeshore
Do you have a little Robin Hood on your hands? Let him (or her) take aim at addition! Sized just right for kids, this archery set lets them shoot for a bullseye while they practice math. Children use a flexible plastic bow to shoot safe, suction-cup arrows at the target and add up the numbers as they play. The set comes with four arrows, a bow, quiver, target and stand. I have my kids take turns and one adds up the points, while the other shoots the bow. Once all the arrows are used, they switch out.
MummyMath ($3.59 – $8.99) Learning Resources
My kids love anything to do with Ancient Egypt so this fun little game is a hit in our house! The game is designed to help kids practice their addition and subtraction skills as they spin the spinner and “build” their number sentence pyramids. Players start out by placing a number at the top of their pyramid. Then all of their rows must be number sentences that equal the top number. Best suited for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade.
Build & Learn Beginning Geometry Kit ($19.99) Lakeshore
Older children may prefer to practice their geometry skills with this 3-D game. Kids use plastic sticks and balls to form 2-D and 3-D shapes. This kit comes with a booklet with tips and instructions on how to build geometrical figures like a square pyramid, rectangular prism, hourglass, and other fun shapes. This is a great tool for developing your child’s skills and interest in geometry. For kids in 3rd through 6th grade.
The Secret Life of Math ($5.18) Amazon
The Secret Life of Math is the the ultimate math book. In it, McCallum explains how math has been developed and used around the world. From the Inca in South America to the Japanese in Asia, kids (and their parents) learn that communication, counting, and keeping track were powerful motivators. The best part of this book is how it uses hands-on crafts to supplement the history. Your kids will be making different types of math tools – such as tally sticks, an Inca quipu, counting balls, an Egyptian amulet, Maya number cookies, and even their own abacus – to help them understand each section. Part of what I love about this book is that it is a history lesson, geography lesson, art/craft lesson, and reading lesson all rolled into one.
Pizza Fraction Fun ($15) Amazon
Who doesn’t love making pizzas? This clever game helps kids visually understand fraction concepts and skills using one of their favorite foods. Kids play seven different games to practice identifying fractions, matching fraction equivalents and performing fraction addition and subtraction by building pizzas. It includes 13 double-sided pizzas (one side labeled with fractions) and three double-sided spinners providing different levels of learning.
Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and the founder and publisher of MommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.