I remember working very intensely in engineering school, and doing well, but thinking if only I had grown up playing with trucks and mechanical things I would have had a more natural understanding of what I was doing. No doubt I'm exaggerating that memory, because I did like playing with my father's Erector Set and … Continue reading Of Engineering, Beyblades, and Exposure – or noticing gender differences in the toys we play with
Usually when my family goes on vacation, I pack lots of games and activities. I often think I'll use this "downtime" to slip in some math or something else equally "educationally important." So I bring card games, board games, art supplies, and whatever else I can think of. All with the goal of enrichment. There's … Continue reading Vacation Math
If you haven't already, break into your child's piggy bank. It's a great way to get mathy. Okay. Don't really break the bank. And certainly not without permission. But you can easily fill a few quiet moments with your young child playing with money, and in doing so, set the foundations for understanding many mathy … Continue reading Money Math
It was a quiet rainy morning with the 4-year-old. His brother was at school, he was playing quietly by himself (this is true!), and I was sneaking downstairs to tidy the house. Yes. I was really excited about tidying the house. This is what has become of me. I look forward to quiet moments so … Continue reading Wanna Play Checkers?
This morning the 4-year-old woke early and asked if we could play cards. What I really wanted to do was put him in front of the computer (Spanish language cartoons...everyone's happy!) so I could stay in my peaceful morning zone, but instead I took a moment to breathe, poured myself a cup of coffee, and … Continue reading More War!
Wall Ball is currently THE game to play at recess if you are a 2nd grade boy. Or maybe just if you're my 2nd grade boy. It is a welcome change from the Pokemon card trading that was popular at the beginning of the school year. Surprisingly, both wall ball and Pokemon trading can connect to … Continue reading Screens and Wall Ball
I can't believe I haven't written about board games yet. If there is one and only one thing you do to promote mathematical thinking in your home, make it board games. Start with any board game. Yes, that means you may have to start with Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Ugh. My childhood memories of … Continue reading Board Games, Not Bored Games
Sometimes it's nice to manipulate “quality time” with your kid to also be “happy time” for yourself. So I periodically suggest to the kids that we ride our bikes or walk or, yes, even ski to a local coffee shop (okay, the ski option does not present itself often, but it did happen once, so I can … Continue reading Coffee Shop Math
As a parent, I just didn't understand why that card game had to be called War (you know the one: split the deck in half, then flip cards off the top. Player with the high card takes both cards. If it's a tie, players each lay 3 cards face down, then the 4th determines who … Continue reading War!
The car is a great place to talk to your kids, because they can't get away from you. I have definitely used it for many challenging topics (“So tell me again where you think babies come from?”) Yesterday as we were driving home from school, I decided to try out the idea of mathematical functions … Continue reading Function Machine Game