This post is Sponsored by Westpac, who is proud to offer Mathspace Essentials free for all children across Australia
Maths is so fundamental to life and getting the foundation right from the beginning can make all of the difference. It is essential to future employment opportunities for our kids which makes it worth putting in the extra effort to give them the best chance possible.
If your children are anything like mine they will whinge and complain at the mention of things like homework.
One thing I have noticed over the years is if you can make it fun and not seem so ‘homeworkey’ they are much more inclined to engage.
1: Mathspace Essentials
Anything involving the computer or a tablet is always a hit with my kids. When I first heard about Mathspace I thought it must be too good to be true.
Westpac has come together with Mathspace tohelp the next generation of kids in Australia know their numbers. Westpac is sponsoring the Mathspace Essentials program, making it free. Mathspace Essentials is an online interactive maths program which can be used across any device. All you need to do is have internet access, an email address and create a password to sign up. Mathspace is aligned with the Australian curriculum and covers topics from Year 3 to Year 12.
I recently wrote a full review post on how it all works which you can see here …
Once you have had a play around with Mathspace Essentials and found it is something that really helps support your child with their maths, it is worth checking out the premium program, Mathspace Plus.
You can find out more about Mathspace here …
A good healthy mix of online and offline support is always great for kids so we have included some of our favourite Maths games the kids enjoy to play below.
Below are a few fun offline games we have played in the past with our kids to help them with the division, multiplication and times tables.
2: Times Tables
My kids struggled remembering their basic tables and number facts and it gets boring writing them out or reciting them … so I made a quick tool to help them and turned it into a bit of a game.
Each morning as a part of the routine (before any fun), the kids had to complete their table of the day. We started with the easiest ones and once they mastered them, they could move on.
I gave each of them a stack of my blank templates printed at home on our computer … they would write the table in that they were doing all the way down the sheet, take a breath, start the stopwatch and then complete the answers. Once they could do that in less than 60 seconds, they would move to the second sheet where the table questions were not in order anymore.
You can set the times and rewards to suit your children but we had a system that they stayed on the same table each morning until they could complete the mixed sheet in less than 1 minute … then we moved on to the next table.
To mix it up I would sometimes ask them to go back to an easy or older one and the kids recorded their times on a sheet to monitor their improvement. We also had simple rewards for doing it each day regardless of the times and something for when they moved onto a new table …
Keep it fun, offer support and don’t put them under pressure … let them make it a game.
Learning to divide is a maths skill that will not only come in handy during maths class, it’ll be useful later on in life when baking or dividing up the bill. You can help your child get a jump on division early with this engaging maths game!
What You Need:
- Construction paper
- Black marker
What You Do:
- Encourage your child to fold the sheet of construction paper in half.
- Then, using the black marker, have them draw nine lines on the front of the folded over paper, separating it into 10 different sections.
- Have your child use the scissors to carefully cut along the lines they made in the previous step. These will be the game cards.
- Then, using the black marker, have them write the numbers 10-100, by tens, on the front of every card (one number per card). For example, on the first card, you write 10, on the next card, write 20, and write 30 on the one after that. Keep making cards until you reach 100.
- Then, take over duties by opening each card. On the inside, write the answer by dividing the number on the outside by two. For instance, on the inside of the 10 card, write five. On the inside of the 30 card, write 15.
- Next, have your child shuffle the cards together.
- To start playing, they should flip over the top card of the deck.
- Then, they have 5 seconds to divide the number on the front of the card by two.
- Once they guess, they should open the card and see if she got the answer right.
- If they are correct, let them set the card to the side.
- To win, they must successfully make their way through each and every card.
An easy way to help your kids practice multiplication is to turn it into a game. Making it a bit of fun will help them practice without knowing it! Here are 2 easy games to try:
Roll The Dice
You will need:
Paper for writing down the multiplication equation & answer (you can use our free downloadable here)
Roll the 2 die at the same time and whatever lands you need to multiply the 2 numbers. For example, if they roll a 2 and a 6 it would be 2 x 6 = 12… They can either do this in their head or write down the multiplication equation on the sheet of paper.
These are a few ideas we have done in our home to help encourage our kids to find the fun in Maths and so far it is going ok.
I would encourage you to try out Mathspace Essential for free with your kiddo as I find it quite unbelievable that such an amazing resource is available for free to every Australian kid. Thanks Westpac that was very kind of you!