How To Make Maths Fun for Primary Kids | 10 Ways

How To Make Maths Fun for Primary Kids | 10 Ways

How to make maths fun for primary kids? This is a question that foundation and intermediate educators ask quite a lot.

Many students find math difficult and are, therefore, unmotivated and uninterested in the subject.

On the bright side, there are numerous ways to make maths fun for primary school students.

Here are 10 simple yet effective methods that you can follow to make maths fun for your students!

1. Make it Hands-On

Which one of these scenarios below would you choose?

a) Solving a math problem through a textbook.
b) Solving the same math problem with actual objects such as blocks or cubes.

Chances are, you would pick the latter option.

This is because a hands-on activity allows you to physically engage with the concept, making it more fun and interactive.

So why not incorporate hands-on activities into your math lessons?

You can use objects like:

  • Locks and cubes to teach students about basic shapes and geometry
  • Measuring cups, scales, and ingredients to teach them measurements and fractions

Or you can try active learning strategies like:

  • Role-playing and using props to learn about money and budgeting
  • Creating a scavenger hunt to practise addition and subtraction

The possibilities are endless!

2. Incorporate a Reward System

Children love rewards! Any type of reward, from a sticker to chocolate, can motivate them to do better and engage in the lesson.

The key is to find a reward that works best for your students.

Some ideas could be:

  • Giving out stamps or stickers for correctly solving math problems.
  • Letting the students choose a game or activity to play as a class after completing an assignment.
  • Having a monthly math challenge with prizes for the top-performing students.

The reward system can also encourage healthy competition among students. According to an article written by MindChamps, “Friendly competition in school has been proven to nurture inquisitiveness in children“.

Inquisitiveness in children leads to improved learning outcomes and a growth mindset towards math.

So, implementing a reward system makes math lessons fun and creates a positive attitude towards the subject.

3. Use Real-Life Examples

Children love to be a part of the adult world, so why not use real-life examples to make math more relatable and engaging?

For instance, when teaching measurements, bring in objects of different sizes and have students measure them using a ruler or measuring tape.

Or, when teaching fractions, use food items like pizza or cake to demonstrate how fractions work in real life. (You can reward the learners by handing out the pizza or cake as a treat after the lesson—a win-win scenario!)

Another idea is to use money. Using actual notes and coins encourages students to practice addition, subtraction, and more complex concepts like budgeting and saving.

Using real-life examples helps students see math’s practical application in their daily lives, making it more relevant and interesting.

4. Use Apps & Games

In our digitalised world, students are likely already spending a significant amount of time on their devices.

To make maths fun, introduce and play math-related games or use interactive apps during class.

These resources can engage students in learning while still being entertaining and enjoyable.
Some popular examples of math apps and games include:

In addition to making math more enjoyable, these tools also provide opportunities for students to practise their skills and track their progress after hours.

5. Use Picture Books

Picture books contain illustrations to complement the story, making them perfect for foundation and intermediate-phase learners.

The connection between pictures and concepts can help students better understand mathematical ideas.

Some great math picture books include:

  • “One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab” by April Pulley Sayre
  • “How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
  • “Anno’s Magic Seeds” by Mitsumasa Anno

6. Sing Songs

Music is a great way to start a math lesson.

Most songs contain repetitive patterns which help students remember mathematical terms, concepts and formulas.

Many math songs are available online, or you can make up your own with the help of your students.

Some popular math songs are:

  • “The Shape Song” by KidsTV123
  • “Counting by Fives” by Have Fun Teaching
  • “Time to Practice Addition and Subtraction” by Jack Hartmann

7. Talk Positive About Maths

Most parents often tell stories of never being good at math, which can negatively impact their children’s mindset.

As an authoritative figure, it is important to encourage and praise students’ efforts in math, even if they make mistakes.

This will help them develop a positive attitude towards the subject and become more confident in their abilities.

8. Encourage Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is a great way to engage students in math. It allows them to work with their peers or educators, share ideas and learn from one another. In a home setting, the whole family can participate in group activities to encourage collaborative learning.

Group activities can be as simple as solving math problems or more complex projects requiring teamwork and critical thinking skills.

A great example of a collaborative learning activity for understanding geometric shapes could involve:

  • Dividing the participants into groups.
  • Assign each group a different geometric shape (circle, square, triangle, and rectangle) to explore.
  • Each group would investigate the properties of their shape, such as the number of sides, angles, and symmetry.
  • They would then present their findings to the other groups, helping to reinforce their understanding through teaching others.

This approach solidifies math concepts and enhances communication and collaboration skills.

9. Bring In Nature

Teaching outside of the classroom can be a breath of fresh air, quite literally.

Math is everywhere in nature, from the symmetry of flower petals to the angles formed by tree branches.

Take your students on a nature walk and have them observe and document these math connections.

It can also get tricky, as students would really need to focus on the math rather than just listening to a lecture or watching a presentation. Using a reward system in your outdoor session will keep students engaged in the objective of the lesson.

This hands-on and interactive approach can make math more engaging and relatable for students.

10. Refer Tutors or Online Resources

In a classroom setting, there is not always enough time in the day to give every student individual attention. Sometimes, students may need additional support outside of the classroom.

Refer students to math tutors or online resources where they can receive extra help and practice math concepts aligned with their specific learning style.

This can also be beneficial for students who learn at a different pace than their peers, as they can work at their own speed with personalised support.

Let’s Add Some Fun to Math Today!

So, how to make maths fun?

Try using these 10 ways!

With a sprinkle of creativity and a pinch of patience, you can transform a sometimes-dreaded subject into one that students look forward to learning.

Tutor Doctor is the perfect choice if your child needs personalised tutoring services in South Africa! We specialise in helping students progress from struggling to excelling, and we make learning math enjoyable.

For more information, contact us today and start your child on their journey to math success!

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