Fun Math Resources
Summer is on the horizon. Before you know it, kids will be out of school. Schedules will be more relaxed, bedtimes will shift, and there will be more sediment in that bathtub. Kids will be tired, and happy, and happily tired. The last thing they will be thinking about is math. Am I right?
The thing is, studies have shown time and time again that summer learning loss, often referred to as brain drain, is a legitimate concern. Depending on the study you read, children lose between one and three months’ worth of math and reading skills over the summer months. This is the reason why many advocate for year-round schooling, and the reason behind summer school.
Care to fight back? Today I am sharing some of our favorite math resources. These are not drill-and-kill type resources, folks. They are… dare I say… FUN.
The Life of Fred series is unlike any other that I’ve come across. It’s quite hard to explain, actually, suffice to say that my children adore Fred, his quirky personality, his Kingie doll, and his countless adventures. The Fred series covers mathematics in a way that doesn’t feel like math, and there are oodles of other neat factoids thrown in, from grammar to astronomy to Latin.
I’ve gushed about this game before, folks. CountDown! was given to me by a homeschoolin’ neighbor of mine. This game is so simple to learn and can be adapted for any level of mathematical ability. This game is designed for 2-4 players. Each player had number “keys”, from 1-10. The goal is to be the first to raise each of your keys. Each player rolls the dice and tries to use the numbers rolled to raise a key, using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
This game is like a mathy and brilliantly-colored Bananagrams. It is a crossword-style math game. For each game, you roll a die and the number that you roll (either a 3, 4, or 5) is the “key number” for the game. Players take turns placing single rows, in a crossword-style, of tiles that add up to a multiple of that key number. This is a game you can toss in your purse and take anywhere, folks. It travels well and there’s no excuse not to play.
This is another one of our favorite math games, like Sumoku and Countdown. I love this game because you can modify it for younger players. So, for Seuss (3.5 years), we roll the dice and let him count the dots to get the total. For T (5.5 years), we roll several dice and have her add the numbers together. For Leo, we roll the target dice and then he attempts to reach a target number with the other dice. So many variations in an easy-to-travel pouch! We also adore ThinkFun’s Math Dice Chase– a perfect way to practice those multiplication tables!
I gush about Bedtime Math all the time. Bedtime Math is a three-book series that is meant to be read as part of your bedtime routine. There are so many things I love about this series. I love how Laura Overdeck brings math to life with real-life, fun, and often quirky stories. As a mom, I appreciate how Bedtime Math presents three levels of challenge for each problem. Each of my children can enjoy this book at his or her own level. Finally, I love the nightly e-mail subscriptions. Bedtime Math has because a family tradition here that we’ll remember for many, many years.
My family loves to play Q-bitz. The beauty of Q-bitz is that it offers several levels of play, with various challenge cards, and so it is truly a game that the entire family can enjoy together. If Schizz and I are playing with Leo, we have a heated timed game, but if I’m playing with my younger two, we just work on recreating the images using our blocks.
This classic game will transport you back to childhood. You’ll have a blast while your children do math! Sit back and let your child be the banker. Monopoly (and Life for that matter!) never fail to start fantastic family conversations about finances and major life choices. Such amazing learning can take place during family game night, folks!
I’ve loved logic puzzles since childhood and Leo loves them, too. Perplexors are so much fun for those who love a good puzzle. What I love about Perplexors is that there are a ton of them and they increase in difficulty. I’m going to warn you, they are wildly addictive!
Now, it’s your turn…
Those were just a few of our family’s favorite fun math resources. What are your favorite ways to squeeze in some math fun? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram