Creating positive memories of doing maths together as a family is an important step in building a confident, can-do attitude towards maths
This site contains practical activities to do with children aged five to eleven, and reinforces the Mathematics that your child learns in school. The activities involve tasks which aim to support learning for the Mathematics statements from the National Curriculum for England. The National Curriculum statements are written at the top of each downloadable activity so that you are aware of the target you are playing towards.
The National curriculum in England: mathematics programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 can be downloaded here:
The accompanying appendix can be downloaded here:
Five Golden Rules for enjoying maths at home
1. Maths is everywhere. Cooking, shopping, packing things into bags and boxes, planning a journey… even the buildings all around you. The more you look, the more you will see.
2. Being wrong is OK. Don’t feel bad about mistakes – they are part of learning. If you, or someone else, gets to the wrong answer, then talk about it. How did you get there? See if you can come up with a better way to work it out.
3. Believe in your own ability. Everyone has the potential to understand and enjoy maths. One of the UK’s biggest problems in maths education is children ‘catching’ their parents’ own low confidence in maths. If you don’t feel confident, this is more likely to have come from your life experience than your genes. You have the ability: you’ve just not had the chance to develop it. You probably use maths more than you give yourself credit for. So avoid suggesting that people in your family aren’t good at maths. Your children will believe it, and make it come true.
4. Struggling is normal and healthy. If you can’t figure something out straight away, then you’re not alone. In fact, you are sharing an experience with professional mathematicians. It’s their job to get stuck on hard problems – sometimes for years! Some hints for getting unstuck include: Keep trying, try different methods, and try explaining what you don’t understand to someone else.
5. Talking about how is interesting. Different people bring different talents to maths – and solve problems in different ways. If you ask someone else how they worked something out, you’ll learn something – even if you were both right.
Are you having fun doing maths already?
Take a look at our year group specified activities– many people just don’t notice the fun they are having with maths already.
Lots of activities you already do at home are maths:
- Baking a cake involves measuring and shape.
- Measuring children’s height as they grow is also fun.
- Singing ‘Ten green bottles’ is maths.
- There is counting and pattern-forming in knitting.
- The ancient Japanese art of origami is mathematical.
Practising these simple fun things with your children can support the maths that’s taught in school.
Where else can I go for ideas?
National Numeracy have put together a Family Maths Toolkit which is full of ideas – it’s worth taking a look.
There are also PDFs to download on our How To Help At Home page which explain how certain mathematical concepts are taught in schools.
Karen Wright – Founder
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