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How to make math fun for kids while on school holidays

Math can be a difficult subject to grasp for many children, but luckily there are some ways to make it more tangible and fun! Here are some of our favourite math-related activities you can do with the kids during the school holidays.

Working math into everyday life and other activities


One great way to get kids into doing math (without them realising, or feeling as though it is a chore), is to integrate it into every day, real-life scenarios. 

For example, ask your kids to help count how many things are on the daily to-do list. Ask them to subtract the things that are already complete to find out how many things are still left to do. 

This is a fairly basic example, but there are many facets of life and different daily activities that math can work its way into. Here are some other simple examples of how you can encourage math practice in everyday life:

Grocery shopping/cooking

  • Counting how many of a specific produce item you need
  • Adding up the total price as you put things in your shopping cart
  • Making a game out of measuring different ingredients for cooking
  • Have them do math to figure out how close the chores are to being totally finished.
  • Adding up the number of total dishes while washing and seeing what percent of dishes are bowls or plates.
  • Adding up the number of rooms to clean and dividing by the number of family members to see how many rooms each person should tidy up.
You can also get kids interested and active in math by giving them challenges, or simply by asking them for help. What this entails depends on the age of the child(ren), but could include simple things, like counting fruit in the fruit bowl, or adding to see how many TV channels you need to switch to get from channel 5 to channel 12, or for older children, helping to add up a bill. 

You can also work math into other projects such as DIYs and craft activities. Taking our tomato seed experiment as an example, you can have the kids measure the length of the tomatoes every other day and use math to determine how much they’ve grown each time.
Child doing homework

Math Games


If you’re not incorporating math into everyday life, no need to worry, there are also plenty of fun games that incorporate aspects of math. 

These can help your kids practice and learn while having fun with the whole family! In fact, almost all board games include at least a basic math function. Think about it, simply rolling the dice and adding up the number of spaces to move, is, at its most fundamental level, mathematics. There are other games that take this even further, with more addition, subtraction, and multiplication rules, here are some popular ones:

Monopoly: Collecting and adding different bills to reach certain amounts of money, subtracting rents, and in some cases, calculating percentages. 
Yahtzee: Addition, adding up the number of dice. It can also be a helpful tool to explain the relationship between addition and multiplication (when multiple dice are rolled with the same number). 
Scrabble: A bit more complicated, and helpful for building vocabulary as well as math. It includes adding up different combinations of words, incorporating multiplication for double and triple letter or double and triple word spaces. 
Printable math activity sheets
Finally, you can also share some math activity sheets with your children. Some children find the activities fun enough on their own, particularly when they have fun themes or interesting tasks. 

You can download some free math worksheets here, and find many other printable learning aids in the Brother Creative Centre.

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