10 cool ways to use maths and have fun this summer

We all know about keeping our kids reading through the holidays by going to the library and joining reading challenges, but what about Maths? How do we make sure out children keep on top of Maths without getting out the school books?

Here are ten great ways to use maths in everyday activities with the children!

1) In the kitchen - cooking and counting

Pizza is a great treat and a good way to demonstrate fractions - try starting with half and finding equivalent fractions! What about baking? Kids love measuring out the ingredients. Can they read the scales? How much more do we need to add? If we put the cakes in the oven now, at what time will they be ready?

2) In the street - numbers everywhere!

Take the opportunity to look at odd and even house numbers on different side of the street. What number will the house with the blue door 6 doors away have on it? What colours of cars are parked here? What fraction of them are red? What is the ratio of red to silver cars?

3) Shopping - change please!

Where possible, try to get the children to estimate the shopping bill. How much does it come to? Which notes or coins do I need? How much change will I get back?

4) GAA games - maths at play

Next time you take the kids to a game, get them to work out the total number of points each team has scored by adding goals and points. What is the difference between the scores? How many points have been scored in total by both teams?

5) Countdown

If you have a holiday or a day trip planned, it can be fun to build up the excitement by having a count down. How many days to go? How many hours or minutes?

6) Eating out

When you next go out to dinner, ask the children to estimate how much the bill might be. If the tip you will pay is 10%, can they work that out for you? Can they count out the money to leave for the tip?

7) Fair or not fair?

Play with the money in your purse. Would it be fair to swap these coins for that coin? Why? What would make it fair?

8) Fun with Lego

Lego bricks are a great source of fun. When building, make a 3-D tower with many levels that decrease by 1/2 or 1/4 each time. Make a weighing scale by attaching string to a coat hanger, hang it over the door handle and see how many Legos it takes to balance something they tie to one end. Can they estimate before measuring?

9) Car time

When out and about it the car, use maths during the journey. The shops are 6km away - how long will it take to get there? Estimate the length of time we are waiting at the traffic lights. The destination is 50km away. How many km will the display show when we arrive?

10) Shapes all around

Look for shapes in the house or garden. can you find any right angles? Are there any acute or obtuse angles? Can the children find any examples of symmetry around them? Do any rooms have any tessellating patterns?

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