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!