Mental Maths Activities

Before I list any number work I wanted to introduce you to some of the basic activities I use for helping children improve their mental maths skills.

I tend to do a lot of practical activities with children. From experience, I have found that many children are kin-aesthetic, audio or visual learners so a lot of my activities are geared towards these learning styles. The children then find they have absorbed new knowledge, had fun and improved their maths skills all in one go. It makes for a happy maths learner (and a happy teacher).

A lot of my activities can be used for learning most of the basic mental maths skills. The main focus of these is to work at something together and take it in turns. Children love sharing an activity, plus it takes the focus off them a little. In their mind then the work is not all up to them, someone else is doing some of the work.

Throwing a ball
Play catch with your child and as you throw the ball say a number and then your child will say another number when he / she throws it back (what those numbers are will depend upon what number skill you are practicing / learning)

March around a space and every time you put a foot down say a number (you could get your child to do this on their own but it's much more fun to both do it)

Marching up and down the stairs
Like just marching but up and down the stairs and when you step on a new step you say the number

Hand tapping
Tap hands on a table or another surface that makes a noise and every time you tap say a number

Ask your child a question and get them to write the answer on something they are not normally alllowed to write on. For example: a white board (with a white board pen), a mirror (with a whiteboard pen), a glass table top if you have one or anything else that can be written on and cleaned off but gives a feeling of fun and excitement while doing it.

Saying numbers in a funny way
Encourage your child to say and answer / sequence / what ever is required in different voices. You could ask the question in a loud voice and child has to copy with the answer. Then you could use a quiet voice, a squeaky voice, low pitched voice, growly voice.........

Talking to a teddy (or any other stuffed animal)
Ask your child to teach teddy a particular sequence or maths skill. Or you could just get child to count with teddy - to make this even more fun you could join in too.

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