Everyday Activities to Practice Math

Activities that are completed as part of your everyday routines can be used to support mathematics learning. These regular activities (or jobs) are completed everyday and incorporating mathematical thinking into them provides for practice and gives them meaning. Listed below are simple activities you may be doing without even being aware:

Skip Counting:

  • Take advantage of page numbers in your nightly reading books to count by twos after you have completed the story. (And not just the even numbered pages, use the left- or right-handed side of the books and count the odd numbers by twos as well!)
  • Count piles of pennies, nickels, intervals on a clock, fingers or toes to practice skip counting by fives.

Monthly Calendars:

  • Calendars provide opportunities to show patterns in numbers as well as apply special meaning to numbers (a child's birthday).
  • They also show how numbers are positioned with respect to one another due to the rows and columns. Ask questions like, "How many days until...?"
  • Calendars also provide addition practice through "Counting On" from the current date until a special date.

The Weather:

  • Weather forecasts provide many opportunities for children to develop number sense. The concepts of temperature, rainfall, and wind gusts, as well as, inches and degrees are ideal for teaching about numbers and measurement.
  • Temperature fluctuations can also be measured using addition, subtraction.
  • An exploration of percent or probability can be conducted when making predictions about the weather tomorrow. (What chance will it rain tomorrow?)
  • Going outside to "feel" the temperature gives real meaning to the number.

Lunch Money:

  • Experiences with money provide skip counting opportunities.
  • Making change is a great way to reinforce subtraction or "counting on" practice.
  • For small children, sorting by size or color and patterning can be utilized using coins.
  • Reasoning questions can be raised by asking if they have enough money to buy an item.
  • Conversions or trading allows children to discover the concept of equivalence.
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