Playing with math at home

Playing with math at home

During vacation time, winter holidays, or whether you're a homeschooling parent having some free time can mean you can implement learning time while being at home. This learning time does not have to mean that the learning experience needs to be tiring and children can't enjoy their free time, on the contrary learning from home alongside parents and siblings can be a fun learning experience, not only will children be spending family time but it is also great bonding opportunity where they are also still learning. 

Here are two math topics and activities you can review with your children! These activities will be accompanied by the book Nacho Matematicas A. Both of these activities can be adapted to different age groups, but the book's math level is specifically for 2nd graders. 

Topic 1- Graphing made fun

Teaching math skills can be done at an early age and it does not have to be a task that children find boring! Graphing and understanding graphs is a topic that can be learned across different age groups. Graphing can be an opportunity to teach about a variety of topics such as colors, numbers, writing, reading all while learning how to sort and graph. For this activity, you will need colorful bears or items of different colors. You will also need a roll of paper and markers. Begin by laying out the roll of white paper and taping it onto a flat surface could be a table or desk. Then,  add columns and rows.

Next, count out a few counting bears that will be used with the graph. Put the bears on the left of the paper. If you do not have bears you can use toys of the same color, for example, 5 toys that are yellow, 6 that are red, 3 that are blue, and so on. You can change the number of items based on your child's math skills. Or challenge them by starting with fewer bears or items then raising that amount. 

Finally, number the graph on the left and add the colors to the bottom of the chart. Children will need to sort and count the bears or items based on the graph. You can also adapt the graph, and where you color-coded the chart, add a number of items that need to go under that row. For example, under the yellow row, you can write the number 6, and children need to put 6 yellow bears or items on that row. As children are doing the activity, make sure to ask them to count the items, and say the color of each. In essence, children are learning how to graph in a hands-on manner. Make it even more challenging by making it a competition amongst siblings or with a time limit! On pages 86 to 92, Nacho Matematicas A has several graphing exercises to further practice graphing with your child!

Written by: Valeria Flores. University of California Los Angeles. Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Linguistics. Bilingual teacher.

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