Summer is a great time to have fun learning with your kids. There is time to learn in a leisurely way that ignites their curiosity and fosters their love of learning. Some great ways to learn with your kids are reading aloud, playing games, and taking trips to museums. Below you will find some great ideas and resources to incorporate the subject of math into these learning adventures.
Best Math Picture Books
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table is a delightful picture book full of math concepts and puns. Try one out at your local library and if you enjoy the humor there is a whole series available staring Sir Cumference. This series is a good fit for elementary students and appeals to a fairly large age range.
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci is a wonderful tale weaving together the topics of history and math. Children will delight in a story where a child who was called a blockhead by his peers, centuries later, is seen as a brilliant mathematician.
G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book Each concept is explained in an understandable and engaging way. Cover a letter a day and your kids will go back to school armed with an impressive array of math vocabulary.
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbably Life of Paul Erdos, don't know who that is? Grab the book and find out!
These next stories highlight both modern space travel and the women who helped make it possible.
Another great story about a woman who was instrumental in the success of several NASA missions is Margaret and the Moon. She wrote the code used in Apollo 8, 9, 10, and 11.
You can top off the night with Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late.
Math Games from Tots to Teens
For the little ones in your family who are just becoming familiar with numbers, this giant math mat is a big hit. Little kids love games where they get to stand on and jump to the answers. The box comes with instructions for many different activities and games you can play with your child using the giant mat and giant inflatable dice your little one can throw to their heart's content without breaking anything. This mat is durable enough to last you for years and covers math concepts over several of the early grades so buy it young for years of fun.
Shut the Box is a game that is fun for the whole family to play, 2-4 players.
Sequence Numbers is a fun bingo-style game that provides extra addition and subtraction practice.
Prime Climb is an excellent math game which requires not only calculations but critical thinking and strategic planning. It is fun for a large range of ages starting in upper elementary but still fun for teens and adults. Great practice with adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and learning both your multiples and primes.
Ninety-Nine or Bust will force your child to hold a number in their head and then add on the card they play to a running total. Try not to go higher than 99 or you lose!
Math Learning Trips
What kind of places can you take your kids to learn more about the world of numbers?
If you live near New York City or are taking a trip there this summer try the National Museum of Mathematics.
You can also explore local science and technology museums. Since math is an important part of both those fields you will likely run into numbers there.