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Great Ways to Teach Math to Children to Destroy Their Fear

Great Ways to Teach Math to Your Child
Math concepts, if easily mastered in childhood, lay a strong foundation which can be extremely helpful in later life. Let's find out some great ways to teach math to children, so they do not get bored, instead develop a liking for the subject.
Sailee Kale
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Mathematics is a subject which some children love and easily grasp, whereas others struggle with even the basic concepts. If presented to them in a fun and creative way, kids can learn simple math concepts easily. Children's brains are like sponges, they greedily absorb all that is shown and taught to them. How we best exploit this is up to us. You might be surprised to know that opportunities for learning and teaching math are found in plenty in our day-to-day lives.

Children can begin learning mathematics from a very young age, even when they are toddlers. Incorporating simple math problems in our daily activities at home is the first step to teach math and goes a long way in providing children with this essential life skill that will help them as adults. Don't think of this as a daunting task, all you need is a positive attitude and things found easily around the house!
Kid playing with numbers
For Toddlers and Preschoolers
Make math a part of your everyday activities. When you play and sing with them, try to include counting as part of math activities for preschoolers. Learning can be fun if taught playfully, especially at such a young age. Count out loud, initially for them, then with them, several times a day, every day. Count out everything they come across, from trees, to fruits, to books, and their toys. Buy building blocks which will make this process fun and easy. If you are doing the laundry, ask them to count the clothes! Count when going up and down the steps.
Child playing with puzzle
Make Math Fun for Toddlers
  • Take cardboard cutouts and write numbers on them, and get them to identify and recognize them. Once they become familiar with them, ask them to recognize numbers, say a house number, license plates, grocery store aisles, etc.
  • Go a notch higher, and introduce the concept of greater than and less than. Draw various shapes like squares and circles on a piece of paper. Ask them to count the shapes, and ask them which are more in number. The concept of geometry can be introduced at this stage by getting them acquainted with the shapes as well, and ask them if they can make out the shapes of objects they come across every day.
  • You can even introduce addition and subtraction at this stage. Line up pieces of blocks, fruits or animal crackers on a table, and ask your kid to count them. Then add a few more pieces or take some away, and again ask him/her to count. This way, your kid can develop a liking for basic concepts of plus and minus from an early age.
  • Play math games. Each of you should solve math puzzles and keep a tally of who does it right and finishes faster. Give your kid a head start and allow him to win; the more he wins, the keener he will be on continuing the game and solving math problems!
Child playing dice game
For Older Children
It has been widely observed that children learn faster when visual teaching practices are used. The use of flashcards, playing cards, and even computer games to a certain extent can aid a child in learning new math concepts. There are enough interactive math learning games available, which can be a very helpful asset to make math fun and easy.
Child learning abacus
Make Math Fun for Older Children
  • Make it a point to recite multiplication tables. Knowing your tables is a great tool and minimizes the dependency on a calculator as the child grows. This need not be a boring activity they have to do sitting in one place. Say them out loud when you are driving them to school, or when you are gathered for a family meal. Ask them to write the tables on colored papers and stick them on the fridge, on their bedroom walls, or the study room.
  • Whenever you go shopping, ask your child to help you out with picking groceries. Ask him/her to count the exact amount of change at the cash counter. This type of learning process provides an exciting real world experience and will also introduce your child to the concept of nickels, dimes, quarters, and also know the value of money. Or a pretend shopping trip at home can teach children the basics of percentage, decimals, and fractions by utilizing concepts such as discounts and sales tax.
  • Play games which involve the use of dice. Every time they roll a pair of dice, ask them to perform all four arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with the set of numbers that are face up.
  • The use of abacus as a learning tool is slowly gaining momentum. There are numerous books on the subject which parents can avail of. Get an abacus for your child, and teach simple calculations, the concept of tens and hundreds, and gradually advancing to more complex formulas. Learning to use the abacus will certainly aid the child in solving math problems faster and more easily.

There are countless math activities that can make learning math a fun activity. Whenever your kid finds it difficult to understand a new concept, encourage him/her, and explain whenever needed. The goal is not to memorize by rote, but understanding the basics and concepts. If he/she grasps quickly and answers questions correctly, appreciate the efforts. Heaping praise is crucial, it's the best incentive you can shower on a child to encourage him to learn new things. If you feel he/she is bored, stop. Change the subject and do not stress the child. Continuing even after they have lost interest will not work; it will turn the child away from developing a liking toward math.
Strong math skills will make your kid more successful and confident in school. All you really need is a positive attitude to inculcate a strong love for math in your kid. By using mathematical concepts on a regular basis in your daily life, you and your child will soon realize that math is not just a subject taught in school, it's a part of your way of life.