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Math is exercise for the left side of your brain

Make math fun for kids because math is such an important part of life, whether it's when you cook, balance a checkbook, play hop scotch, do a budget or during this pandemic if you just need to figure out what 6 feet of social distancing looks like.

Here are some ideas for fun math activities:

1. Tell math riddles, even the smallest child loves a riddle, example: What did the triangle say to the circle? You're pointless! Read "The Grapes of Math" by Greg Tang, filled with entertaining math riddles for 6-10 year olds.

2. Bake anything from cookies to breads to a lasagna---it always involves numbers. Make a large version of the recipe and pin it up so the children can follow it. If your children are not reading age, draw symbols- make 4 eggs, or tape part of the package on the sheet.

3. Count coins, children LOVE this. Sort the coins, add the coins, group the coins. If you have foreign coins make a coin display and find out what the amount is of each coin. Do coin rubbings: put the coins on the table, place a sheet of paper over the coins and rub a crayon sideways over the coins.

4. Count in 2's or 3's or whatever number you want. Count shoes, pairs of socks in the house, pencils in the house, shirts that are red---count anything, it's fun.

5. Think up songs with numbers in them: "The Ants Go Marching 2 by 2", or "76 Trombones" or "One is The Loneliest Number". Compile a list of these songs or research them. Sing them together.

6. Make a calendar and add the number of the day on the calendar using cut out squares of paper. Do number patterns, talk about odd and even days. Chart the weather each day and keep a list of how many days it rained, snowed, was windy or was sunny.

7. Wash your hands for 20 seconds by counting backwards, in 2's or in another language.

8. Learn chess, or have virtual classes. Chess is a great way to plan, count and organize the brain. Chess At Three, which starts with three year olds, uses storytelling and teaches sportsmanship, grit, and math through playing chess.

9. Read fun math books: "Multiplying Letters", a funny story about algebra by S.E.Burr for 5-10 year olds. "The Picnic Problem -math" by Jonathan Litton is for 4-8 year olds. Max and Suzy go on a math treasure hunt in the park.

10. Fill a glass jar with marbles or paper clips or hair bows or erasers. Take turns guessing how many are in the jar, change up the things in the jar and do this weekly.

10. Random act of kindness: Go to a non-profit organization run by 4 high school students to donate hats and booties to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients.

Always pay it forward!!!

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