So if you know anything about me, it’s likely that you know I don’t get along with “the Maths”. They’re obstinate. They chafe my type B personality. They “do not spark joy”.
But as you might also know, I homeschool three boys… who ALL have to learn Math. Somehow.
I’m telling you, cold sweats over here.
Maybe you can relate to my struggle. Not only do I want my kids to be proficient when it comes to Mathematics, but like in all their subjects, I’d like for them to love learning about it. So how can I, Math-deviant that I am, help to make learning Math enjoyable and engaging for my kids?
Thank you Everyday Educate for sponsoring this post!
Let me tell you how excited I am about the fun elementary Math activities I was able to put together with some awesome products from Everyday Educate! They are hands-on, they’re engaging and hold my kid’s attention, they are simple and memorable, and best of all, I can incorporate a number of sensory elements, so my kids are getting built-in, at-home, sensory therapy as well! I’d also like to say a big thanks to Everyday Educate for sponsoring this post!
So, the activities all have the same goal. All three center around identifying basic mathematical functions (i.e. addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.) using these Math Sign Posters. However you can mix up the methods of arriving at the goal using different tools. In this post I’ll explain three different variations you can do at your house.
The Math Sign Posters themselves are in the shape of their respective function and also have words and phrases written on them to help your child determine what each function does. The idea is to pose a word problem, then your child must figure out which function they would need to use to solve the problem.
So let’s walk through the first activity.
One of my go-to tools at home to get my kids the sensory input they need during the day are River Stones. You’ve probably seen me using them in other posts or in the Sensory Activity Video Library. They are a great way to help your child get Vestibular input.
In this first variation, put out four River Stones in front of the four Math Sign Posters, one for each poster. Then have your child choose a River Stone to stand on while you give them a word problem. It could be something like this:
You and your friend Johnny love Strawberries. One afternoon, you and Johnny decide to go to Farmer Ben’s strawberry farm to pick some strawberries in the field. You both have a great time and in-between snacking on plump, red strawberries, you are able to pick 21 strawberries and Johnny picks 17. How many strawberries do you and Johnny have in all?
While you are giving the word problem, have your child listen to key words that let them know which mathematical function they will need to use to solve the problem. To help, the Math Sign Posters have a number of key words and phrases printed on them to help your child decide. Once they think they know the answer, they can jump to the River Stone in front of the corresponding poster.
It’s great practice in understanding word problems and balancing on the River Stones helps their bodies to register and adjust to where they are in space.
This first variation is helpful for slightly younger kids who especially need to be moving around a lot throughout the day. It’s also great for Vestibular seekers who will benefit from the inner ear stimulation.
Sensory Body Sock:
Don’t put the River Stones away yet. For this second variation, use the same set up just add a Body Sock. Body Socks are another great tool I use regularly in our sensory activities at home.
My oldest especially loves jumping into one. He uses them for school or just for play-time around the house.
Doing this activity with a Body Sock gives your child wonderful Proprioceptive input as they are using all four limbs to push on the inside of the sock. This, combined with the motion of jumping to the different positions, will spread that Proprioceptive input along a large number of joints, making this a great option for both proprioceptive and Vestibular seekers.
The last variation is a little different. This time, instead of pointing to or standing in a position, the way to choose the correct function is by using a Sensory Chewie Bracelet (You can get 15% off with the code JULIE15).
As the name implies these bracelets are normally used to chew on and are fantastic for proprioceptive seekers who have an oral sensory issues or prefer getting sensory input from their mouth.
We are going to use them differently however while still getting some proprioceptive input. So instead of putting the bracelets in their mouths I asked my boys to used them more like rubber bands and launch them across the room.
Since they feel about projectiles the same way I feel about chocolate, they couldn’t get enough. And, because to launch the chewies across the room they have to stretch them out, the resistance of the material puts pressure on their joints to give them the proprioceptive input.
Can’t decide which one to choose? Try a combination.
My older boys were able to work up to doing all three at once. Combining the variations kept it fresh and provided a goal for them to work up to. True, you may have to duck a few flying chewies, but the laughs will be worth it. I’m just glad I found a way to keep my boys looking forward to our school times.