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Count 'Em Up: 5 Skill-Building Math Activities

Keep your child’s math skills sharp with these creative and easy-to-prep games.

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Memory and Memorization
Logic and Reasoning
Problem Solving
  1. Math Memory Game: Practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with a do-it-yourself memory game. Instead of matching images, you'll pair equations with their correct solutions. For example, a card might read "3 + 5 = ?", and its match would be 8.
  2. Numerical 20 Questions: A numerical take on 20 Questions, this game is a great way to practice math in a creative way. Have your child think of a number, then hone in on that number by asking questions such as "Is it greater than 50?", "Is it divisible by 3?", or "Does it end in 0?" Have your child write down and keep track of the questions on a piece of paper. If you get to 20 questions without figuring out the answer, you lose.
  3. I Spy Numbers: Try playing I Spy with numbers. For example, "I Spy . . . multiples of 2 up to 20," where the first one to spy 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on, through 20, is the winner. Have your child look for numbers on billboards, road signs, license plates, etc.
  4. Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That: Creating math riddles, involving the properties of numbers, is an easy way to make math fun. Here's an example of a fairly simple riddle: "I am a perfect square, divisible by two and three. The sum of my digits is nine. Who am I?" (Answer: 36.) Write the riddles — as easy or as difficult as you wish — on blank index cards, and keep them in the kitchen, the car, and the bathroom for puzzling while you're cooking, driving to school, or supervising bath time. 
  5. Money Matters: Teach your kids about money using just your spare change. The goal is threefold: first, sort the money into piles of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies; then create as many piles as possible equal to $1.00; and finally find the total value of all the coins. Some $1.00 piles will be easier than others (four quarters or 10 dimes, for example), but others will be more difficult, using some quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. 

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