Looking for ways to make math fun this summer? Here are 10!
I consider learning to be a life-long, year-round journey, but I don’t want to sit and stare at a bunch of text books with the kids all summer long. I mean, I don’t even want to do that during the school year…
But summer brings on a completely different dynamic to learning. During the winter it’s often too damp and cold for us to go outside. Spring means constant rain and autumn is a busy time with starting new grades and new schedules. Not that you can’t have fun learning during those seasons; it’s just different.
Math is one of my favorite subjects. It’s kind of weird actually, considering that I’m not a naturally detailed person, time has almost no meaning to me, and I’m not particularly data-driven. I’m more of a go-with-the-flow, happy-go-lucky kind of person.
But I like math because it’s not subjective. It’s easy to grade. It has a set path that is easy for this easily distracted mind to follow.
Some of my kids like math, some of my kids don’t like math. But none of my kids really shares my love for math. It’s just something they do because it’s required.
So this summer we’re focusing making math fun! (With a little science is mixed in for extra fun since they go hand-in-hand.)
Here are 10 ideas to help you make math fun this summer:
1) Count the number of seeds in your watermelon slice. Compare the number among siblings.
2) Before you start eating that watermelon, have the kids weigh it whole and measure the diameter (if they’re older you can have them determine the mass!) Compare different types of melons or fruit.
3) Catch some fireflies. Or even just one. Get out a stop watch and measure the time in between each flash. Does the flashing occur in a trackable pattern? Can you figure out the average number of seconds in between the flashes?
4) Hang your laundry on the clothesline. Create a chart to track how fast the clothes dry on different days. If you want to get scientific about it, use one specific piece of cloth or clothes each time. Look for variables that might make the drying time longer or shorter. Rainy, humid, cool, hot, scorching. Learning how to graph data is a vital mathematical skill and it’s much more fun and meaningful when it relates to real life.
5) Make some popsicles. Track how long it takes for them to freeze. You can compare two types of popsicles like a juice pop and a frozen yogurt pop. What makes them take longer to freeze? You can work on elapsed time and beginning time skills both with this activity.
6) Create math problems with shells or rocks at the beach. Two shells plus one shell equals…. Create an array of rocks that shows 4×4.
7) Sort shells according to their size, texture, and weight. Which kind has the most? The least? Are there two attributes that have an equal amount?
8) If you live in a rainy summer climate, make a rain gauge and measure the rainfall. Then, on a hot day leave the rain gauge in the sun and track how quickly the water evaporates. Not only will your kids get great practice with measuring and tracking time, they also get a hands-on lesson about the water cycle.
9) Get them involved in summer menu planning. Double recipes, halve recipes, substitute other measurements, etc. Have them figure out what volume of liquid they need to properly fill their popsicle molds. How many strawberries do you need to top your pie? How many banana slices in the banana pudding? What fraction does one slice of the banana equal?
10) Have your kids count the number of birds that they see on your nightly walk or trip to the park. Or trees or dogs, you get the idea….
So there you have it! 10 ideas to make math fun this summer!
Do you have an idea for making learning fun this summer? I’d love to hear it!