Once our children understand the basic concept, it is often helpful to drill the math facts to ensure that they know them and to help them be able to process them more quickly. Turning anything learning-related into a game usually makes it more interesting for the kids!
Here are a few ideas of fun ways to reinforce those math facts.
1. A simple way to begin is to set the timer for a certain amount of time, say one or two minutes. Hold up a flashcard. Have your child say the math fact and the answer. If he gives the correct answer, lay the card down in front of you. If the answer is incorrect, move the card to the back of the pile you are holding so that it can be tried again later. When the timer goes off, count how many cards are in the pile in front of you (those that were answered correctly). Do this several times, keeping “score” after each round and see what is the most he can get correct during the given time.
2. Have your child stand on one side of the room; across the room, lay out a set of cards that each have a number on them, zero through ten. You stand in the middle of the room. Set the timer for one or two minutes. Show your child an addition or subtraction flashcard; they have to look at the card, then run across the room, grab the card off the floor that has the correct answer and hand it to you. If it’s not correct, they must go back and try again to select the right card. Once they have handed you the correct answer, they must go back to their starting place and do the same thing for the next flashcard. See how many cards they can give you before the timer goes off. Try to improve their score each day.
3. Set up a Nerf basketball net (or try this outside with a real basketball goal; or, for a very simple version, use any ball and an empty trash can!) Have your child start a long way back from the goal. Show him a flash card and allow him to advance one step every time he gives the correct answer. If he gives an incorrect answer, he must take a step backward. When he (or you) thinks he is close enough to make a basket, let him try taking a shot. If it goes in, he gets a point and can start over again. See how many baskets he can make in a designated amount of time.
4. Concentrate on just two or three math families at a time. For example, sit with your child at a table. Lay in front of him the numbers 4, 5 and 6 (use felt, wood or magnetic numbers, for example). Hold up a flashcard and have him say the problem on the card, then pick up the correct number for the answer. Give a point for everyone that is correct on the first try. Set a timer and see how many points he gets in the given time frame.
5. For a fun twist, have your child hold the flashcard up and you give the answers. He gets to tell you if the answer is correct; get some wrong on purpose to test him!
Do you have a fun way to practice math facts with your children? If so, please let us know in the comments section. I’d love to have some new ways to review flashcards with my girls!
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photo courtesy morgue file