As parents and teachers, it’s common to hear groans of disappointment and anguish when it comes to math. Wondering why? Well, it’s simple. Not every child loves math. For the average kid, math is like broccoli – a terrible vegetable that they just have to go with because “mummy said so.” It seems impossible to make learning math fun but it’s not.
So how can you change this narrative? How can you make learning math for kids a fun, engaging experience? Let’s find out.
Why Do Kids Hate Math?
The first step to making math a fun experience for kids is figuring out their exact grouse with it. Why do you think your child or student groans each time you whip out a math textbook? Well, it could be for any of these reasons:
In some cases, children might hate math simply because complex numbers make them feel stressed or anxious. As such, they might begin to associate math with feelings of anxiety and develop an intense dislike for it.
Lack of interest
Your child might be more interested in other fields or subjects such as art and creative writing. If they prefer these creative subjects, math may seem boring to them.
Typically, a significant percentage of students tend to struggle with calculations and complex equations. If your child keeps struggling with these mathematical concepts, it only makes sense that they’d end up hating math.
How to Make Learning Math Fun and Interesting for Kids
Now to the big question: how do you make learning math an exciting experience for kids? Well, here are some useful tips to consider:
Fun educational games
When it comes to make learning math fun, educational games are often a go-to choice for expert teachers. Kids love games and would happily ditch a learning session for a chance to play dodgeball with their friends. As such, it only makes sense to incorporate this fun activity into your lesson plan.
Not only will this excite them and keep them engaged, but it will also help them learn complex concepts easily.
But what kind of games are the best? Well, for starters, you could use set up math card games or board games for your kid to play. There are also fun educational video games for math kids online worth considering.
Use practical examples
It’s not enough to simply dole out instructions or formulae and expect kids to catch up. Rather, it’s essential to take a hands-on approach to teach math. This will help students stay engaged and equally understand what you’re trying to teach them.
For instance, you could organize a baking session instead of simply telling them what fractions are and how they work. During the baking session, incorporate measurements that contain fractions (such as ¼ teaspoons of sugar and so on).
With practical examples, they’ll get to enjoy the learning process and grasp concepts better.
Much has been said about the usefulness of visual aids in teaching. According to the Research of Cuban, up to 83% of what is learned is from the sense of sight. This explains why visual aids are necessary for teaching complex subjects like math.
To make the learning more exciting for students, consider using visual aids in the classroom such as charts or picture books. This will help them remember key concepts and engage their visual senses at the same time. For instance, you can find picture books covering a wide range of topics such as multiplication, subtraction, and even equations.
EdTech tools can enhance the learning experience and give teachers the opportunity to revolutionize their classrooms. Students will certainly gain a new perspective on math and find it more engaging with these tools.
There are tons of edtech tools that can be used to teach online math for kids. For instance, we have educational video games (which we mentioned earlier), websites, and even math apps.
In the same vein, you might want to consider getting your kids tablets (with parental control, of course) to help them utilize handy edtech tools.
Use fun questions/word problems.
When teaching math to kids, using engaging questions or word problems is a great way to grab their attention and keep them hooked from the beginning to the end.
Take a quick look at these two sentences:
“What’s four minus 1?”
“If John has four apples and he gives you one apple, how many apples does John have now?”
As a child, which of these questions sound more interesting to you? The second one, obviously. By introducing fun questions and scenarios into the lesson, you’ll help your kids interact more and enjoy each session better.
In 2020, a kindergarten teacher named Mckenzie went viral on TikTok for teaching her students about the number 4. The children’s excitement as they took part in the class was the major factor that made her video so popular. Wondering why they were so excited and interactive? She was engaging them with fun questions!
Final Thoughts on How to Make Learning Math Fun for Kids
Trying to make math fun and interesting for kids can be difficult. Since many kids already dislike or fear the subject, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort. Luckily, these tips outlined above will set you on the right track.
Try to incorporate as many of these hacks into your teaching sessions. Remember: learning/teaching math isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.