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Fun math activities to do with your child

From Huntington Learning Center

Mastering math requires frequent practice. How can you help your child learn “practical math” at home? Here are several activities to help your child reinforce his or her math skills.

Use cooking to teach fractions. What fraction (and measuring cup) is the same as two one-fourth cups of flour? What fraction is the same as two one-eighth cups of flour? How about one-third plus one-fourth? How did your child calculate his or her answers? Have your child use the measuring cups as a helpful visual to understand why two-fourths is the same as one-half, and so on.

Start investing. As your child begins earning and saving money, teach your young saver the concept of compound interest by exploring investment options available at your bank’s online site. Check different types of accounts such as savings accounts, bonds and CDs. Give your child a savings register to track any deposits, withdrawals and interest.

Calculate the cost of groceries. Most grocery stores have online sites and are a great place to teach your child addition and subtraction. Have your child keep a running estimate of the grocery bill as you shop. Once you check out, ask how far off his or her estimated total bill was. Ask how much change you would receive by paying with a $100 or $500 bill.

Play with coins. Coins offer many opportunities to practice math reasoning skills. Have your child guess the coins you hold in your hand by providing him or her a cents amount. For example, what six coins total 30 cents? (Answer: either one quarter and five pennies or six nickels.)

Maintain the family budget. Put your child in charge of calculating the family’s monthly budget for living expenses, needs and wants. Have him or her calculate different variables, such as an unexpected expense — car repairs, for example — and report how those impact your family’s “bottom line.” Ask your child to calculate how much could be saved toward a family vacation or for future college expenses. What line items in the family budget are the highest? By what percentage?

Math is truly everywhere, and with a little creativity, you can help your child strengthen his or her math skills by doing everyday activities. Give your child daily opportunities to reason, solve problems and think through math situations, and you will be teaching him or her that math is an important part of life.

The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206-2353.