A Family Channukah Problem

How many candles do we need for our Channukiah on Channuka?

The festival of Channukah is eight days long. For each of the eight days, we light a candle in the Channukiah – one on the first day, two on the second day, three on the third etc. Sounds simple, right? Well, yes and no.  After each night the candles, which were lit on this night, will have burnt out and will need to be replaced on the next night. This adds up to a lot of candles over the eight days of Channukah. We also must not forget the candle […]

Maths 101 For Parents

Sometimes parents who were not terribly good at maths when they were at school, feel overwhelmed by the thought of helping their children with their maths. So we thought that we would provide you with what we feel are some of the basics for you to brush up on. You’ll be surprised at how much easier things may seem when you look at them with your older, wiser eyes.

Having good number skills is one of the most important foundation blocks that children need to build and a lot of this stems from being confident and accurate when calculating numbers. […]

Fractions in Time

Using some paper/plastic plates and a thick marker or pen, you can help your children to better understand the meaning behind some commonly used terms when we tell the time. Explaining the connection between the fractions of a circle and telling the time might seem obvious to some people, however; these obvious connections are not always made by children and it can help them immensely if we take a few minutes to show them.

Each hour is a whole 60 minutes and one whole circle.

Half of an hour is half of 60 minutes, which is 30 minutes, and we divide […]

Exploring 3D Shapes Using Lego

Recently we wrote about 3-Dimensional drawing. This can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to strengthen spatial skills. Naturally we became very excited when one of our readers shared a picture of her toddler experimenting with 3-Dimensional shapes. We love her idea, it is a brilliant way of introducing the concepts of 3D drawing, discussed in our earlier article, with your toddler.

Stefanie Schwartz has drawn the front view of various shapes for her toddler to replicate using Lego blocks. Once the object has been built using the lego blocks her child is then able to see […]

Fun With Numbers

My students absolutely love this game and there is so much great maths learning involved. It is something  so easy to recreate and play at home with the whole family. All you need is a 10-sided dice with numbers 0-9 (I am sure there’s an app if you don’t have one, or use this website and the little random number generator in the top right of the screen), paper and a pen. This game will improve their number skills, especially their understanding and appreciation for place value.

Let’s Play
On the paper make this grid.


Three […]

Maths Play: Making 10

Understanding and being able to quickly recognise which pairs of numbers group together to make 10 is an extremely useful numeracy skill for children to have. It assists greatly with quick skills in addition, subtraction and multiplication as well as laying some great building blocks for problem solving skills. If you can easily recognise that 7 add 3 gives you 10, then even adding numbers like 67 add 4 becomes easier because you are able to recognise that 67 needs 3 more to reach 70, and you have one extra so the answer is 71. Having a ten digit […]

Dinner Time Maths – Equivalent Fractions With Bread

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and a great opportunity to engage with your children. The idea of Dinner Time Maths is to add a small spark of maths to the conversation. Discuss a mathematical idea as a family or solve a problem together.

I was reviewing equivalent fractions recently with a Year 7 girl. She understood the steps, realising that if she multiplies the numerator by a number she must then do the same to the denominator. She knew that the same goes for division as well. It was when I drew her a diagram and showed […]

Maths Activities with Lego

On the back of the popular Lego movie, kids are more interested than ever in playing with their Lego and creating their own Master Builder masterpieces!
Why not make the most of this and slip in a few maths activities for your kids to engage with while they’re open and receptive to using Lego in new ways?
After a little bit of searching around on the web, I’ve found some truly amazing, interesting and engaging activities that you’ll love. The best thing is that they don’t really require anything other than Lego and some input from you. Some of these activities […]

x y z is as Easy as 1 2 3

A recent study just published in the journal Developmental Science looked at the ability of children aged between 4 and 6 to do basic algebra.  It was discovered that children of these ages, before any formal lessons have been taught, have a natural ability to do basic algebra. They used the “Approximate Number System” or “number sense” which is one’s natural ability to estimate the magnitude of a group without relying on language or symbols.  Our innate ANS is said to probably be an evolutionary adaptation which helped humans to survive in the wild.
What is interesting is that if […]

Dinner Time Maths – Skipping Koalas

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and a great opportunity to engage with your children. The idea of Dinner Time Maths is to add a small spark of maths to the conversation. Discuss a mathematical idea as a family or solve a problem together.
This is a well known, popular puzzle with variations around the world. The aim is to move the yellow koalas from the left to the right and the green koalas from the right to the left. Playing this game over the dinner table will inevitably generate wonderful conversations, help your children to develop problem […]