STEM Maths Zone
Helping your child learn Maths at home
This web page provides some examples of everyday activities with a mathematical link to help and support your child at home.
In the kitchen
• Ask children to help you when cooking - children could count the ingredients out or even measure some ingredients ready to use in the recipe. Children will love this even more if there is something to eat at the end!
• Choose two tins or packets from your food cupboard. Ask your child to hold one in each hand and tell you which is heavier, and which is lighter. (Check by reading the weight on each tin or packet.) If he / she is right, they keep the lighter one. Then choose another item from the cupboard, trying to find one that is lighter still. Carry on until your child has found the lightest item in the cupboard. It might be suitable to eat as a prize!
Around the house:
• Children love to compare their heights so mark their height on the wall so children can see how much they grow in a few months.
• Children could weigh themselves and keep a chart of their weight.
• Hand sizes – Draw around your child’s hand and cut out of paper. How many hands is the sofa? How long is the table? Which one is longer? This is a simple way of measuring without a ruler.
• Children could paint on concrete or slabs with water and then measure their patterns or shapes with a tape measure. If it is expected to rain, use chalks on the concrete as it easily washes off!
• Create an obstacle course with hoops and ropes and measure the distance in steps, hands or by tape measure.
In the street
• Recognising bus numbers
• Number plate hunt. Who can find a 7? Add the numbers up.
• Comparing door numbers
• Counting – how many lampposts on the way to school
• What day is it yesterday, today, tomorrow?
• Use timers, phones and clocks to measure short periods of time.
• Count down 10/ 20 seconds to get to the table/ into bed etc.
• Recognising numbers on the clock. If you cover a number, what number was missing?
• Are you taller than a …?
• Marking height on the wall.
• Cut hand shapes out of paper. How many hands long is the couch? How long is the table? Which is longer?
Here’s a simple recipe:
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Half a cup of salt
food colouring and essences (optional)
Put all ingredients in a large saucepan, and heat slowly, stirring all the time until it forms a ball. Keep it wrapped in clingfilm or in a covered tub to stop it drying out.
• Make numerals and shapes
• Sort shapes into groups, or order by size
• Make long and short wiggly snakes.
Doing the washing
• Counting in 2s – matching shoes
• Sorting by colour and size.
• Matching/pairing up socks.
• Find four shoes that are different sizes. Can you put them in order.
• Reading price tags
• Counting items into the basket
• Finding and counting coins
• Comparing weights – which is heavier
• Putting cards into piles
• Jigsaws (you can make your own by cutting up a magazine picture)
• Snap (matching pairs) or Happy Families (collect 4 of a kind)
• Snakes and ladders or other simple dice games.
Number noughts and crosses
This game is played like noughts and crosses but with the use of the numbers 1 to 9. The first player has the odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9) and the second player the even numbers (2,4,6,8). The person with the odd numbers begins the game. The aim of the game is to make a row, column or diagonal add up to a total of 15. The player who places the final number to do this is the winner.
Snakes and ladders – some variations
• Throw a dice. Work out what number you will land on. If you are correct you can move that number of spaces. If you are wrong you can’t move.
• Play the same game again but backwards (starting at 100 and taking away the number shown on the dice).
• Play the same game, but if you land on a multiple of 10 you get an extra turn.
Internet maths games
• Can you cut your toast into 4 pieces? Can you cut it into triangles?
• Setting the table. Counting the right number of plates etc. How many more do we need?
• Can you make shapes/ patterns out of the knives and forks. Can you put them in the right place in the drawers?
• Helping with the cooking by measuring and counting ingredients.
• Setting the timer.
• Positional language at dinner time: what is on the rice, where are the carrots etc?
• Cut a potato into shapes (circles, triangle etc). Use with paint to make pictures and patterns.
• Cut out shapes from coloured paper/ newspaper and arrange into pictures.
• Shape hunt: Can you find a square in your house (windows etc), a circle …
Number rhymes and songs
Eg: 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
4 little monkeys jumping on the bed …