Both my boys are maths geeks. They have loved numbers and maths since they were small and are great with mental maths. They have also always loved art and crafts, but the older they get (they are nine and ten) they do less art and I want to encourage them. This is where maths and art collide – parabolics.
axi is currently working on shapes at school in maths and this week brought home an Islamic pattern sheet and he had to identify a number of polygons on it and colour them all in different colours. Maxi is 8 years old and in Year 4 at school (key stage 2).
For someone like me that finds this type of mathematics really hard it is nigh on impossible to look at that page and see anything other than triangles.
Thankfully First 4 Magnets had sent us a magnetic tangram this week. We were sent the yellow one and it retails at £1.99.
Complete square measures 125mm x 125mm
Seven separate magnetic shapes
Made from high-quality die cut foam on a flexible magnetic backing
These challenging and addictive puzzles are based on the ancient Chinese tangram puzzle. Each puzzle is made from premium foam with a flexible magnetic backing providing a secure grip to a steel surface like your fridge. Each puzzle is die cut and supplied as a square so you can easily break the individual shapes apart to create new shapes. A tangram contains a small square, two small isosceles triangles, a medium-sized isosceles triangle, two large isosceles triangles, and a parallelogram. An isosceles triangle has two equal angles and two equal sides. A parallelogram is a four-sided figure with each side parallel to the opposite side.
When I received it I put it on the fridge and everyone in the house has played with it, including Maxi’s friends who have come to visit. I decided to set some challenges for the boys to follow some patterns using the tangram and it was great fun for everyone.
On the suggestion of Cathy from Nurturestore this weekend will be spent turning a sleeper offcut in to a geoboard.
Both my boys love numbers and math. We have been working with Maxi and the school to show his workings out, as he has always said that he just sees the answers to math questions in his head. As he gets older points are often given for using the correct method and for showing the workings in exams.
One of the ways we do this is by playing games. I recently picked up a great little bingo set at the charity shop, which both the boys love top play. They use it for making up their own number games. They add the numbers, add up the lines when they score to work out who is the winner and just generally have fun with the numbers and the counters. When I was growing up I loved bingo too, I used to tag along with my cousins when they visited and go to the arcades to play bingo. Nowadays they play online at sites such as GoldenBingo.co.uk.
There are lots of other number games you can play with children including:
Domino’s – great for number recognition, counting and strategy
Cards – you can play lots of card games with children, from basic snap, which is great for number recognition to something more difficult such as two’s and eights. Cards are so portable and are great to have in your handbag.
Dice – a pair of dice is great to carry in your bag. You can use them for very basic sums by getting your child to throw the dice and add, subtract, divide or times the two numbers.
Monoploly is great for introducing children to the concept of money and they often do not realise they are using maths skills whilst playing.
Battleships is a fantastic game for introducing children to co-ordinates. Perfect for playing before they have to use graphs.
Skittles or ten pin bowling. You can make your own skittles from bottles and give them numbers. This can help number recognition and addition skills for scoring.
What are your favorite games to play that reinforce maths skills?