Sometimes afterschool programs and home schools may be limited in their resources. Getting kids involved can be easy if you use items that are already lying around and combine them with a little creativity! Here are five great ideas on quick math activities and games that are easy to make and fun to play!
Before you begin, you can make a set of geometry terms on index cards. For example, draw shapes like triangles and rectangles. Pair up students and give each person their own pipe-cleaner. While one person puts their head down and does not look, show the other person a geometry term on the card. Cover the card and then say “go.” All students should have their heads up now, and the student who saw the term quickly tries to create the term by bending their pipe-cleaner into that shape or vocabulary word. The team who recreates the shape first, wins!
Find three or four dice. Take one of your dice and cover it with masking tape. With a permanent marker, write the symbols for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Take turns with your students rolling. For example, when 3 dice are rolled (one being the “operations” cube) the student must perform the rolled operation with the other 2 rolled numbers. For more challenging activities, you can use however more dice!
The 7 Minute Phone Book Race!
Find a simple timer and a phone book. Set them in the center of the room with pencil and paper. Set the timer for 7 minutes. Create a list for example, auto shops, doctors, pet shops and lawyers. Have the students tally how many ads of each category they can find. Since this is like a scavenger hunt, students will get into the competition!
Tissue Box Math
Square tissue boxes can be used as great cubes! Cover each side with whatever math concept you want to practice, using one side per item. For example, if you are learning number operations, put a different operation on each side. You can do this for almost any subject. You can make one for colors, numbers, coins, or math vocabulary you are trying to learn! Children can roll the cube to one another and take turns naming what side faces them.
Here is a fun way to put a spin on any traditional symmetry lesson. Take pictures of the students’ faces. When the pictures are developed, do a quick lesson in symmetry. The students can cut their own pictures in half and draw and create the symmetrical side to their own face! Activities like this are great because they give a personal connection to math!
You don’t need fancy equipment or tools to get kids learning and have fun. Use what you have, get creative and have fun learning math!
Picture By: woodleywonderworks