TIP #1: Math is everywhere!
Next time you're in a waiting room with your child, scan the room (or the magazines on the tables) for evidence of "math." Advise your child to find as much math as possible, and you can give clues if you need to. Numbers, patterns, shapes, categories, and measuring devices (e.g., ruler, scales), are just a few examples of some of the math you might see all around you!
TIP #2: Patterns and Codes are All Around Us!
Make patterns using standard household objects. For example line up repeated objects--sock, stuffed animal, sock, stuffed animal, and so on. Next, ask your child to continue the pattern to figure out the "secret code." You can vary the difficulty of the pattern to suit your child's ability--banana, banana, pear, banana, banana, pear. You can also make deliberate errors that your child needs to find--pear, apple, banana, pear, apple, banana, pear, pear, banana.
TIP #3: Play the Sorting Game!
Take a deck of cards, and discuss with your child all the ways you can sort the cards. They can be sorted by color (red versus black), suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs), numbers (2's, 3's, etc.), royalty versus numbers (jacks, queens, and kings versus the numbers), odd versus even numbers, etc. Sky is the limit! You can play the sorting game with many collections of things around the house, such as socks and building blocks.
TIP #4: Since It’s the Weekend -- Make it a game night!
Playing number-related, age-appropriate board games, such as Chutes and Ladders, can help support many math-related skills. For an important twist, help your child practice saying each number he or she lands on and passes by with each roll of the dice. For example, if your child is on 23 and rolls a four, help him or her say "24, 25, 26, 27" instead of "1, 2, 3, 4." This way, your child can learn about order and magnitude (i.e., how large or small a number is in relation to other numbers).
TIP #5: Count-down for Launch!
You and Your Kids can pretend to be rocket ships set for launch. Practice counting down to blast-off! You can make the challenge as easy or difficult as you want remembering that you don't have to start counting down from 10. You and your kids can count down by ones (e.g., 17, 16, 15, 14…) or Practice counting by 2's (e.g., 25, 23, 21, 19…)! For advanced math students, try multiples (e.g., 21, 18, 15, 12...)!