Building Maths Skills Everyday

Wondering how you can best support your child with maths? Here are some examples of everyday activities that help develop strong maths skills:

  • Play Monopoly!
'Monopoly Justice'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/8628862@N05/2450496004

‘Monopoly Justice’
Photo by John









The game of Monopoly has so much maths in it… Think about it: as I roll my two dice, I subitise (instantly recognise the patterns of dots and the number they represent) the numbers rolled. By adding these two numbers, I practise quick addition facts, some of them doubles. If I roll doubles… let me think, how likely is that? Hey, there’s some chance and data in this game!

The board is organised in 40 squares and 4 corners… As I navigate my way around the board and go around a corner, I chunk the number I just rolled so I can quickly work out where I am going to land.

As I buy property, pay rent, receive payments, I get to handle Monopoly money and I practise adding and subtracting, using multiples of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500! When I purchase houses, I get to use multiplication to pay the banker. Division if I want to work out how many houses I can afford…

When I land on Income Tax, I must decide whether to pay $200 to the banker, or give them 10% of my wealth… Hmmm… which way is going to cost me the least?

Monopoly is full of maths, and best of all, it’s also full of fun and family time. 🙂

  • Visit Target, Kmart or BigW when they have one of their 20% off sale!
'Is there a sale on? @ Lowestoft, Suffolk' http://www.flickr.com/photos/43632116@N00/930660427

‘Is there a sale on? @ Lowestoft, Suffolk’
Photo by Tim Parkinson








What a great way to practise our understanding of percentages, and the parts that make up a whole!

How many ways are there of calculating 20% off? I could think of 20% as the fraction 1/5, or I could start with the whole price and only take 4/5 of that price into account to work out how much the item is going to cost me.

If the sale is 20% off, that means $20 dollars off in every $100. That’s the same as $2 off in every $10, or $1 off in every $5. Perhaps this strategy can help me best…

Ask some ‘what if?’ questions: what if the initial price had been $100, $80, $50? Is there a pattern?

  • Forget about the mess, let the kids cook!

Following a simple recipe can give plenty of tasty maths practice. Adjusting a recipe to cater for more guests will make us think of important concepts such as proportion and fractions (of cups).

  • Get the kids to help you budget for your next family purchase;
  • When planning for a trip, get the kids to read bus, train or plane timetables and work out the best itinerary.

Maths is all around us. These are just a few examples of everyday activities that involve maths and that everyone can use on a regular basis to support their child practise some very important skills… and enjoy themselves along the way!

Mrs Pratt

One Comment

  1. Great ideas to develop Maths skills and knowledge! Does anyone in the class know how to calculate 10% of an amount? Once I learnt how to do this I could calculate almost every percentage ‘discount’ just by knowing what 10% of an item is.

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