April is Math Awareness MonthAmber Brandt
Did you know April is Mathematics Awareness Month? Whether you consider yourself a “numbers person” or barely squeaked through your high school geometry class, no one can deny math plays an important and helpful role in our everyday lives. Helping our children understand mathematical concepts is a crucial building block to learning…and there are plenty of ways to make it fun (we promise)!
Math Awareness Month began as an appreciation day in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan to increase interest in the study of math and public understanding and appreciation of how it impacts fields like manufacturing, business, and medicine. In 1999, it was extended to a full month of appreciation and recognizes how the studies of mathematics researchers impact our modern life.
Every child learns differently—as you’re sure to have experienced through your own elementary school days. Some take to math concepts easily, and others may have a more difficult time, especially if they’re more verbally gifted. Exploring fiction books with a math focus can be a good happy medium for both types of learners.
Here are a few stories and games sure to be loved by numbers and words kids alike:
All ages book: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
Kids of all ages (and their parents) will enjoy this book. It takes place in King Arthur’s kingdom and cleverly explains how “Sir Cumference” and “Lady Di of Ameter” searched to replace the long rectangle table the knights used to sit around.
Ages 5-7 book: The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat
As Penrose finds himself in a variety of math adventures, children seven and under will discover concepts that go beyond simple addition and subtraction to square roots, fractals and more.
Ages 7+ book: Math Curse
While the title suggests math may be something to fear, this book helps children learn to see and appreciate that math is everywhere. With the right perspective, nearly anything can be a math problem to solve! This book is best for children ages seven and up.
Ages 7+ book: Multiplying Menace
Remember learning your multiplication tables? Multiplying Menace picks up the familiar story of Rumpelstiltskin a decade later to help your child learn to multiply in context rather than simply memorizing. Recommended for children between the ages of seven and ten (although more mathematically gifted kids may enjoy this even sooner).
Math-related games for the whole family
• Looking for a fun online math game? Check out Funbrain Math Arcade for a great selection of free games categorized by age.
• Math.com features a large variety of activities for kids ages five to ten.
• Are you familiar with Tangrams? Here’s a great site for kids ages five to eleven.