Lower Primary

Maths Hide and Seek

A great way to encourage your child to practise their calculations is with a game of Maths Hide and Seek.
All kids love to play the detective, solve a puzzle and crack a code, and this simple activity allows them to do all of these.
The game is simple – choose an object to hide somewhere around the house, write the location of the object in code and have your child crack the code and find the object by solving some maths calculations.
Which object you choose to hide is up to you, but we recommend that it is something motivating! The […]

Maths Play at the Park

The key message that we’d really like everyone to take on board is that you can involve a bit of mathematics in the normal course of your day and through the activities that you would normally do.
While you can also set aside time to do something a bit more special and creative with your child, it’s the integration of mathematics into your usual activities that gives your child the message that maths is normal, fun and a part of the everyday.
If you feel like spending a great afternoon at your local park with your kids, then there’s a perfect […]

Shapeimals – Shape Art

Why is learning about shapes important?
When you look outside, while you probably don’t verbalise everything you see, you brain is processing, defining and sorting. It sees the brown, rectangular building, the yellow, triangular children crossing sign and the circles on the traffic lights. We all use shape as a way of identifying and organising what we see. Very early on, your child begins to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes.

Children learn about shapes and their properties by playing with them. I have been having fun making animals out of basic shapes which is easy and fun […]

A Healthy Introduction to Algebra

Patterning is the first stage of algebra so why not try forming patterns with fruit? Using cookie cutters you can make all sorts of shapes in all sorts of colours. At the same time your children will get their healthy dose of fruit. The kids I know have assured me that a rockmelon ducky tastes way better than just plain old rockmelon 🙂

Get your kids to help you cut up the fruit and once it’s cut there are many activities to try.

Patterning: Start a pattern using just two different shapes or two different fruits of the same shape and […]

Teaching Quantity and the Language of Maths

Since having my first baby in February of this year it is amazing to see how much he has learned and developed through play. I’ve been asking the other mothers in my mother’s group what sorts of games they play with their little ones and what they think their children are learning from these games.
Play isn’t just about fun. Play is the key to learning. It’s no secret that children learn through play.  Babies learn language, vocabulary, hand-eye coordination, develop fine and gross motor skills, rhyming, rhythm and many other skills through play.
The games that these mothers play with […]

The Creativity of Maths and Art

Most people don’t often associate mathematics with creativity and art, but in its history, maths was always associated more closely with art and the divine rather than science.
The Ancient Greeks firmly believed that beauty in all things was best achieved using the mathematical proportions and shapes from geometry. Much of their core work in mathematics explores the properties and behaviour of geometry. Their discoveries were most often inspired by the night sky. So while now we might associate geometry with drab black and white pictures and theorems found in a text book, it’s beginnings stem from the universe and […]

Playing Shop with a Twist

Children love imaginative play. Playing shop is a favourite game for toddlers through to late primary school aged children. But for some, the game can get boring for them very quickly. Add some extra spark to keep ‘playing shop’ interesting and you’ll be amazed at the educational benefits which can be derived. While playing this common game you can enhance your children’s mathematical thinking, numeracy and measurement skills. Enabling your children to gain an appreciation for maths in everyday life and helping them to feel comfortable thinking mathematically is a gift that starts with adding maths to playtime.

Task 1: […]

A Backyard Treasure Hunt

I recently attended a birthday party that was pirate themed and it got me thinking about treasure maps.
Teaching bearings and scale drawings to Year 7, 8 and 9 students, I often spend a couple of lessons getting them to create a treasure map as well as instructions for a fellow classmate on how to find the treasure using bearings and measurements. It’s always great fun and it’s wonderful to see the amazing creativity coupled with some advanced maths skills.
Today I want to show you how you and your kids can create a treasure map experience in your own backyard. […]

Playing Maths With Dominoes

Before children begin Year 1 it is expected that they will have a very good familiarity with whole numbers from at least 0 to 20.
If your child can count from 0 to 20 that’s a great start. Ideally though we want them to be able to recognise quantities representing each number, the numeral itself and the number spelled out in letters.
From there it’s great to start developing counting on from any number (not just zero) as well as developing some skills with addition and subtraction.
One of the best tools that covers so many of these scenarios is a simple […]

Opportunities for Algebraic Thinking in Everyday Chores

The opportunity for discussing mathematical ideas and encouraging mathematical thinking is available in what may seem like the most mundane of opportunities and activities. Today I’ll present two opportunities that you can explore with children aged anywhere from 4 years to 8 years. These two examples illustrate the foundational knowledge of algebraic thinking and the nature of patterns.

Setting the Table

Photo credit: atmtx / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
The way we set the table for dinner each evening involves an ability to understand and extend a spatial pattern. While something so simple might not seem like algebra, or at least not […]