Keep Math Skills Sharp and Build Confidence This Holiday Season with Math Enrichment
The most wonderful time of the year is here once again, and with holiday cheer come many lighthearted opportunities for math learning!
“The holidays are the perfect time for parents to show their children the many practical applications of math outside of the typical classroom environment,” said Deb Guertin, Owner of the Mathnasium of Bloomington West Learning Center. Encourage kids to explore math in their everyday lives while keeping their skills fresh with these positive, low-pressure enrichment activities:
- Cooking and baking: Bring your child into the kitchen with you and whip up your family’s favorite holiday treats! Read recipes out loud together and familiarize young learners with fractions, units of measurement, and conversions between units. Explore proportional thinking by increasing or decreasing quantities to feed more or fewer people while maintaining the appropriate ratios among ingredients.
- Gift shopping: Set a shopping budget and ask your child to help you find gifts that maximize the budget. Holiday sales and discounts present great opportunities to explore percentages and demonstrate how math can help you make smart consumer decisions and make every penny count!
- Decorating and holiday crafts: Introduce younger kids to geometry by exploring basic shapes found in seasonal decorations. Make paper snowflakes together and explore symmetry. Use measurement and estimation to get a sense of how many decorations you need for the perfect touch of holiday flair!
- Family game night: When the weather outside gets a little too frightful, cozy up indoors for a family game night and play math-related board games!
- Holiday travels: Stave off boredom in transit and keep your child busy with activity books and games that involve math! If your travels take you to a destination where temperature is measured in degrees Celsius, ask your child to convert the temperature expressed in ËšC to its equivalent in ËšF. When traveling between time zones, explain time differences and work on converting the time at your destination to the time at home and vice versa.
As you explore math over the holidays, “remember to keep it light,” Guertin said. “Winter break is a time for kids to step away from academic responsibilities and celebrate with family and friends. Focus on exploring concepts, practicing skills, and expanding knowledge. Establishing connections among math, learning, and fun in your child’s world builds confidence and encourages a positive math mindset—an ideal foundation for math success come January!”