Fun Math Practice for Summer Break
It’s finally here! The months of swimming, outdoor fun, and lots of relaxing are here. I don’t know about you, but I spend most of my life waiting for summer. Unfortunately, along with fun in the sun, summer break can bring something a little scary for students- summer learning loss (bum bum bum). The good news is, we’ve basically made it our personal mission to help parents make sure their child doesn’t lose hard earned knowledge over the summer.
When thinking of summer learning loss, most focus on making sure students continue to read over the summer. There are library and community programs aimed at motivating students and families to keep up with their book count when school is out. I agree that keeping up with literacy during the summer is super important, but sometimes I think we forget about math- and I’ve seen this really harm students when they get back into the classroom.
Frighteningly, most students lose around 2.6 months of math knowledge over the summer. That’s a lot of math that students have to catch up on in the next grade! The good news is that losing this much math knowledge isn’t inevitable. A little intentional practice over the summer is all you need to prevent that slip! Any time your child is using math and problem solving skills, they’re setting themselves up to remember more in the coming school year.
Not sure how to get your child’s math practice in over the summer without them moaning or groaning? Check out some of these fun ideas that are sure to be kid approved:
We really love online games as a tool to help students practice and improve their math skills. Who doesn’t love a little extra screen time in the name of learning? There are tons of math games out there, but not all are created equal and not all will work for your child’s learning style. It may take a little while for you to find games your child likes that are actually helping them learn. Here are a few of our favorite games to help you get started:
Solve Me Mobiles - This game encourages algebraic thinking. Students view shapes on a scale and determine their value based on the information given. We use it in tutoring all the time!
Sushi Monster - Practice addition and multiplication facts with super cute monsters who love to snack on sushi...what more could you want? This game is only accessible via app.
Prodigy - Kids go crazy over this game that helps them review multiple math skills (from 1st - 8th grade) as they play engaging online games.
ABCYa Math - ABCYa has a variety of math games targeting different skills. We love using these fun and short games during our tutoring sessions!
Math riddles and puzzles
Math riddles and puzzles are a great way to get the whole family involved in math practice. Posting up a problem for the family to ponder is a wonderful opportunity to start math conversations at the dinner table and beyond. Not sure where to find puzzles and riddles that will get your family talking about math? Check out these sites:
Which One Doesn't Belong - Though this isn’t technically a puzzle or a riddle (because there is no right answer) these images get kids talking about math. Choose an image to look at and discuss which item, number, or shape you think doesn’t belong in the set. The fun part? A case can be made for any of the four items!
YouCubed Tasks- These fun tasks are meant to get your child thinking critically about math while practicing their growth mindset. Each task lists what grade levels it will be appropriate for, making it easy to find a problem on your child’s level. We love this site, so be sure to click around to explore the other resources they have!
Classic Math and Logic Riddles - Fun fact. Our founder, Zoie, is married to a fighter pilot whose call sign is “Riddler”. Needless to say there’s no shortage of riddles at her house. Who doesn’t love a good riddle? Check out this long list of classic logic and math riddles. Puzzling through a particularly hard riddle will help strengthen your child’s problem solving skills. Just be sure to read the riddle before presenting it to your child to make sure it’s appropriate for their level.
Projects can be a great way for your child to explore how math is used in real life. Often students can get disconnected from how the math they’re learning will help them in their work and lives. Consider involving your child in household projects or tasks that involve a healthy dose of math. Even better? Encourage your child to choose a project that they’re interested in to attempt on their own. Here are just a few projects that would be great math practice for kids:
Building a filling planter boxes- Measuring and cutting to create any type of wood project is a great way to practice measurement concepts. Determining how much dirt needs to be purchased to fill the boxes is great practice with volume.
Hanging outdoor string lights - This is another great opportunity to practice measurement concepts. Measuring your outdoor space and then determining how many strings of lights you will need is like a real life word problem with a purpose. For older students, hanging lights in a criss cross pattern is an even bigger math challenge.