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Math Activities for the Whole Family

  1.         Play with numbers
  2.         Estimate speed/distance/time relationships while traveling with your family. What was the average speed of the last trip you took?
  3.         Examine maps with your family. Estimate distances. Find locations.
  4.         Make a favourite recipe together
  5.         Log and graph sports scores over time. Find trends.
  6.         Log and then graph daily temperatures over a one-week period with your family. (Make sure you take the temperature at the same time each day.)
  7.         Estimate quantities and volumes during activities like gardening, planning food for a trip, or collecting recycling
  8.         Track three different stocks and see how they do in one month
  9.         Do mental calculations such as estimating grocery or restaurant bills
  10.         Pay cash for a purchase at the register. Count your change to make sure the cashier gave you back the correct amount of money.
  11.         Pay cash for a purchase with exactly the required money
  12.         Read stories with your child, identifying mathematical elements like patterns, shapes, numbers, and concepts
  13.         Play family games like Blokus, Battleship, Chess, and games with spinners/dice
  14.         Identify geometric and number patterns in your everyday routine
  15.         Measure household items with non-standard tools (spoon, magazine) as well as standard tools (ruler, tape measure)
  16.         Calculate how long it will take to save for a certain item your family would like to buy using your money from part-time jobs or chores
  17.         Weigh the family and pets. Chart the weights.
  18.         Calculate a bat/run average for a specific baseball player
  19.         Make a weekly schedule with your family. Make time estimations for different activities.
  20.         Read signs with your family while driving. Specifically look for advertising that has a math concept imbedded in it. Talk about it.
  21.         Explain how to calculate the tip at a restaurant. Do the calculation together.
  22.         Open a bank account. Many “youth accounts” have brochures that explain interest rates. Read the literature together and decide which type of account will earn the best rates, minimize your transaction costs, and meet your minimum balance plans.
  23.         Look at sports statistics. Have a discussion about an interesting trend.
  24.         Go grocery shopping together. Compare prices. Estimate price per kilogram. Which is the better price?
  25.         Talk about items “on sale.” Do some internet research to find out whether other vendors have similar products costing more or less.
  26.         Talk about lotteries. Examine the odds.
  27.         Talk about how a credit card works. Look at a statement together.
  28.         Look at your electricity, gas or water bill. Which commodity costs your family the most?
  29.         Look at charts and graphs that appear in newspapers or magazines you receive. Find one that has information that interests your family. Talk about the chart or graph.
  30.         Examine different cell phone packages. Which is the best value for your calling pattern and payment preferences?
  31.         Calculate how much water it takes to fill the bathtub. Calculate how much water is used during a five minute shower. Calculate how much water it would take to water a residential lawn.
  32.         Go to youtube.com and type in “math tricks” into the search line. Explore some of the videos with your family.
  33.         The next time you are in a car and someone is filling it with gas, notice the price per litre. Figure out how many litres you could buy for five bucks. Ask the person who is driving how much fuel his or her car uses per kilogram and then figure out how far you could go for five dollars.
  34.         As a favour, double check someone else’s calculations or offer to do the calculation for that person. “I figured out which is the better deal. Can I tell you?”