With families on the go during the summer, consider
putting together a box of useful math-related objects that can serve as both a
diversion as well as a source of learning.
Assembling these objects in one location will enable
children to have a variety of tools for approaching math as a fun activity. All
of these are readily available and do not have to be expensive.
- Start with a sturdy box. There are many plastic boxes with
covers that will snap on tightly.
- Pencils are the writing tool of choice in math. Provide
several of them, along with a small sharpener and eraser.
- Cut up lots of scrap paper. You also teach the value of
recycling when you use the backs of paper that has been printed on one side.
- Include a variety of measuring tools. This can include a
ruler and a tape measure. Kids love those retractable tape measures that open
up to twelve feet. They will measure everything in sight, just for the fun of
opening and closing it. Be sure to get ones that have metric as well as
imperial units of measuring.
- A calculator will provide lots of numeric exploration. Best
of all, let the older children who have a knowledge of how to use one show the
younger ones the ins and outs.
- Your children in intermediate or middle school grades will
probably find a protractor and compass useful.
- A pair of dice can not only be a good way of teaching the
addition of number combinations, but you can also use them to graph the
probability of the frequency of numbers that will show up.
One advantage of taking your "to-go" kit with you is
that it combines math activities with recreation. This makes math an enjoyable
experience for children, which can take the sting out of it when they return to
Best of all, when you have put together a kit such as
this for recreational use, you will have it ready to tackle homework when the
new school year begins. You will certainly appreciate having all the components
ready and available when your child needs them.