Tools & Games to Make Math Enjoyable (And Easier to Understand!)
*This post is sponsored by Oriental Trading. I received free product to facilitate my post. Opinions are 100% my own.
Math is one of those subjects that can be difficult to get kids excited about. As a classroom teacher and now as a homeschooling parent, I’ve found that for many children – math is a challenge.
Kids need hands-on, visual, and tactile experiences to gain a full understanding of many concepts. Luckily, there are many incredible math tools, manipulatives, and games that can help our kids explore and comprehend mathematical ideas. It’s one thing to fill out worksheets about a math topic and another experience entirely to use play and exploration to learn about the topic!
I am always looking for math tools that can impact my kids’ education. I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites that can help make math not only more enjoyable – but easier to understand! You can find all of these products (and TONS more!) on the new Learn365 site – a division of Oriental Trading! This site is dedicated to learning products, curriculum, classroom organization…..all the things teachers, homeschoolers, and parents need to help their students and children learn! Make sure to check out all of the fantastic curriculum available from Learn365!
Telling time has never been more fun with the help of the Big Time Learning Clock. I absolutely LOVE that the clock not only has large display numbers and movable hands, but that it also helps kids understand that the 1 represents 5 minutes, the 2 represents 10 minutes, etc.
I had set this aside to use with our homeschooling this coming year – but my kids couldn’t stay away! My children kept finding ways to incorporate it into their play. Throughout the day, my first grader would check our digital clock and then attempt to show the time on the Big Time Learning Clock. It was a fun way for him to get some hands-on experience with time!
My soon-to-be fourth grader has struggled a bit with his math facts – and giving him a stack of worksheets was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I knew I needed some FUN and engaging ways for him to practice his multiplication and division facts.
The Minute Math Electronic Flash Card feels like an on-the-go video game experience – when in actuality, your child is practicing their math facts. I love that you can choose between addition/subtraction or multiplication/division – allowing children at different academic levels to use the device. Additionally, the game uses the triangle method – allowing kids to see and recognize number bonds. (Your child may not recognize it – but they’re also getting some early algebra practice, as they work to figure out which number is missing!)
This is a great little device to keep in the car, throw into your bag for use during wait times, or to supplement your regular facts practice instruction.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon Tri-FACTa – and heralded it as my favorite educational game of all time. This game is a powerful learning tool (and kids LIKE playing it!) Players use their dealt cards to create number bonds. Play a 3, 5, and 15. The next player can cover up the 15 with a 25 and the 3 with a 5 to create a new number bond. I love that kids need to think about numbers as they play – working to find number cards that can work together to create correct bonds.
It was fun to watch my son continue to make the mental connection between multiplication and division. (Once you know your multiplication facts – you know your division facts!) This is a fantastic game and one every parent should invest in.
The math curriculum we use sometimes calls for the usage of a balance scale. We’d never had one – and I didn’t see a need to buy one. I was wrong!
I could not believe how much my first grader loved this scale. Like the clock, I set it aside, intending to use it when we start homeschooling back up in a few months. Instead, he kept coming to the balance throughout the day with new objects to weigh and compare. He compared the weights of his figures, LEGO bricks, and even some snail shells he found outside. It was so fun to watch him explore this mathematical concept.
Dominoes are great for teaching SO many math skills. (Just Google “Domino Math Games” if you don’t believe me!) Kids can practice 1:1 matching, learn about greater than/less than, begin to see patterns within numbers….and so much more.
My kids enjoy regular dominoes so much that I thought it would be fun to get a set of the Giant Backyard Dominoes from the Oriental Trading Learn 365 site. These dominoes are awesome – and really up the fun and the interest! It’s great to be able to bring the “classroom” outside too!
Have FUN exploring math topics with your kids this year! Find the tools, manipulatives, or games that bring math alive for your child!