Save some of those jellybeans and chocolate eggs for Easter Math Fun once Easter is over!
My kids strongly disliked math, so I knew I had to do something…
The Importance of Math
Yes, there is some math, that as adults, we rarely (read as “never”) use, but a working knowledge of basic mathematical concepts is necessary and helpful as we move through life. My dad always jokes that my generation is the one that’s attached to the calculator. Not that I would admit defeat directly to him, but he’s right. I want more for my kids when it comes to math skills, and that means it’s up to me to be a good example and put the fun into “fun-damental” knowledge!
The first time that my daughter cried over her math homework and wailed that she disliked math, I felt really sad. Learning, while challenging at times, should still have been fun at her age (ideally, it should remain fun for all ages!). I explained to her that learning new things is hard and takes time, and that she should be patient with herself. Then I started watching as she and her siblings played board games together to see what it was that they liked about them, and a bell went off in my head.
Math Games and Crafts
We like to incorporate Math into something tangible that we can see, touch, move and manipulate. It makes it easier to understand, and shows how it can be relevant in life. Plus, when we play games, we like the good-natured competition, the camaraderie, and the challenge, leading up to the win. All of that can translate into math. And it’s even better when candy is involved! We have made our own math board games, skip counted with circles, and ate our fractions (pizza night, anyone?).
My kids also love crafts, so I try and combine math with crafting whenever I can, like when made an abacus (finally found a loophole around my dad’s calculator teasing!).
Easter Math is a great way to use up left-over candy after Easter ends! For our Easter math games, we used jelly beans with preschoolers and younger elementary kids. You can also use beads or raisins, or any small objects (just make sure you are supervising this activity).
This can also translate into fun for older kids, using jelly beans for algebra, and even making a candy version of the game Mancala!
Ways to Learn Math With Easter Candy
Skip Counting is the beginning of understanding multiplication. Kids can skip count their multiplication facts, creating a physical times table so that they can see the quantities. By counting out the colors, i.e., 3 x 3 is three groups of 3 each, making nine beans in the cup. Use an egg carton lid to organize your counting!
Multiplication Facts are easy to “get” when kids can “see” the groups. Kids can discover what 5 x4 is by creating 4 groups of 5, and then counting out the number of beans that they collect. Use Easter Egg containers, or even left over plastic eggs, to help kids “group” the beans.
Division seems to be a harder concept. Count out a pile of beans, i.e. 21 beans, and ask kids to split them equally into the three containers. After they split the beans up, discuss how 7×3=21 and 21/3 = 7.
Math seems more real, and even fun, when kids are able to tangibly touch and play with the concepts. A bonus is the candy reward, at the end!
More Fun With Learning
I really hope I can keep the passion for learning alive and well inside my children as they grow. These are some of our favorite educational crafts and activities:
- Make Food Shopping Educational
- 25 Math Activities For Kids Who Hate Math
- How You May Be Ruining Your Child’s Love of Reading
Do you have any tricks to make math (or any other subject fun)? Share in the comments below!