Creating An Affinity For Math
Mathematics can be a daunting subject. More than half the people in the world despise it simply because they cannot wrap their heads around the theory of the subject. For the other half, it is love at first sight. Somehow, they seem to understand the complexities of Math and the affinity lasts a lifetime.
Kindergartners are introduced to number games and activities early on in their first academic year. The aim of linking games with numbers is primarily to help children learn and understand the basics of Mathematics.
It is crucial to build the confidence of children and increase their ability to handle mathematical problems. It is also a fun way to increase participation and interaction between the students. And kids will love it all the more if there is encouragement in the form of little gifts.
So, let’s get started with these fun filled number activities:
Number Games For Kindergartners
Bingo is one of those games that has been around for ages. Also known as “Housie”, Bingo was first played by the Germans in the early 1800s but there are facts that state the game was popular since the 1500s!!
Why are we recommending bingo?
- It is said to improve the cognitive abilities in children.
- An excellent way for children to recognize numbers.
Bingo grids are widely available in all shops and printable sheets can also be obtained from online gaming sites. Each student gets one Bingo grid and the teacher calls out a random number from 1-100, ticking off each number that is called out. The children cross out the numbers on their grids and the students who cross out all the numbers first is the winner.
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Number Group Game
Another fun-filled outdoor activity for kindergartners is the number group game. The children are taken out to a playground and made to run around. The teacher suddenly blows the whistle and calls out a number. Students must quickly get together as a group of that number. Those who do not make it can sit out till the next round.
Tips to remember
- Teachers can restrict the numbers from 1-10 for kindergartners who will find it difficult to recognize bigger numbers.
- The same game can also be played indoors with music to make it more engaging.
Number Board Scramble
The number board scramble game is an ingenious way to make children practice and recognize numbers within the confines of the classroom. Teachers can write the numbers they have taught the children on a blackboard. The class is split into two teams and each team is made to stand in front of the board.
The teacher calls out a number and the children must identify and circle the number, thus earning a point for their team.
Making it more interesting
- The numbers can be written in various colours on charts, if not on the blackboard. But doing so, the children can also be asked to identify the colours along with the numbers.
Number Activities For Older Children
Children who are more into the basics of Math, like addition, subtraction and multiplication require more complex games that will help them understand the concept and dispel any doubts.
The following number games and activities will also sharpen their skills in Geometry, Square Root, Money Value, Measurements,etc.
Simon Says “Geometry!”
This game, while making children understand the basic concepts of Geometry, also brings in a little physical activity to the session. The kids must be asked to stand with enough space between them. The teacher then calls out the geometric terms and the children must illustrate the terms using their arms. What are the terms that can be called out?
- Parallel lines
- Perpendicular lines
- Straight angle
- Right Angle
- Obtuse angle
- The varying degrees
To make it all the more fun, the pace of the commands can be increased to see how the children keep up.
Sweet Math Game
This game is sure to be a winner because it involves sweets like M&M’s or Gems. Ask students to bring a packet of these colourful sweets. There are many ways to make use of a packet of M&Ms:
- Younger students can separate the contents by colour and tally them.
- Older students can be asked to calculate the ratio of each colour with the total number of pieces in the packet.
- The concepts of addition, multiplication, subtraction and division can be taught by asking children to calculate the answer with the colours of the chocolate.
Hopscotch Math is definitely for older children who have, by now, fully understood the basic concepts and have moved on to more complex theories like square root, percentages and fractions.
In this game, the Hopscotch grid is drawn on the floor in a calculator layout that includes numbers, square root symbols, percentage sign, fractions, etc. So how is this played?
- The children start off by hopping on one number, then an operation and then another number and finally the equal sign.
- The child gives the answer and hops off to allow the next child.
- The same game can also be played by asking children to toss a stone on a number and the sign and give an answer based on the calculation.
All number games and activities are designed to dispel the fear and uncertainty of Math concepts. The ability to make the game more innovative and engaging with numbers, shapes and physical activities lies entirely in the imagination of the teacher.