In My Obstacle Course stations, I like to include math activities that get my son involved in what the concept really is, not just pencil/paper math memorization. Try this if your child is just learning their basic math facts or is having some difficulties because they just don’t get what they are supposed to be doing. This idea can help them get a better understanding of what the process is when presented with addition and subtraction equations and also help them practice their facts in a fun way.
I love to use dice because it adds randomness, and I have found that bits of randomness helps keep things interesting. While there is a time and place for practicing math facts with pencil and paper (in fact, that can be added to this activity if you’d like- either written out by you or your child on a dry erase board, chalkboard or sheet of paper), I think that practicing with actual items is important when forming a good understanding for something that progresses into more abstract concepts.
These easy to make math organizers are perfect for practicing math facts with dice and manipulatives (fancy word for items used for counting). These organizers allow the child to have a space for the manipulatives to go, along with the number, so they get a good visual of what they are really doing.
Ice Cube Trays
Basic Number Charts
See it in action:
Ice Cube Tray + Dice + Manipulatives=Fun Math Fact Practice
Easy Add On:
Modalities of Learning:
Visual– math organizer with numbers written; items placed on numbers to show the process
Kinesthetic– manipulating the items (counters) to demonstrate what the process is;
Empower: This aspect is so helpful to see if your child is understanding and if not what aspect of the process is causing issues. Great information to pass on to their teachers and/or therapists so they can help build skills from where your child is!
Auditory– talking through the process with your child
A note for those of you biting your nails because you don’t have colored dice or puffs just sitting around your house. You can use other items you have in your house that can be counted and in future posts I will show ideas of things to use that you may not have even thought about for math. Having been a teacher, I enjoy keeping with themes and will share with you items I find to help keep the activities interesting, colorful and kid-friendly.