Day 18: TEACH WITH TOYS (part II); the MATH MANIPULATIVES lurking in your home!

~Our 19 DAY JOURNEY of inspiration, activities, and resources continues!~

If you missed Part I yesterday, click here: Day 17: TEACH WITH TOYS: the teaching manipulatives lurking in your home! (Part 1)

teach with toys (2)

TOYS THAT TEACH MATH & HOW TO MANIPULATE THEM

~Instead of Counting Cubes, use LEGOS~

Math Lessons using Legos or Duplos:

There are so many math lessons you can teach with Legos/Duplos! In fact, you could probably spend an entire month (or maybe even a year) doing nothing but Lego Math with your kid(s). This is just the list that I came up with.

Number Sequencing/ Step Ladder (ages 3-6):

toys14

Have your child place numbers 1-10 or higher in sequence (pictured are sandpaper numbers, but you can use any number flashcards or make your own on index cards or cardstock). Next, direct or show the child how to build and arrange “bars” of bricks next to (or underneath) each number to create a visual sequence or step ladder. You can also make all the bars ahead of your child, and then have your child count the bricks on each bar and find their number match.

Addition (ages 3-7): 

1.) Begin with the Number Sequencing/ Step Ladder activity above, then have your child choose any two numbers in the sequence, such as 2 and 8. Have your child add/connect those brick stacks together and then count the entire bar to determine the sum. For older children, you can have them add three or more bars together.

2.) Use subtraction flashcards in conjunction with Legos or Duplos to help your kids really visualize and understand the nature of adding two or more sums.

Subtraction (ages 4-8):

1.) Begin with the Number Sequencing/ Step Ladder activity above, then have your child choose any two numbers in the sequence, such as 9 and 4. Have your child remove 4 bricks from the 9 bar and count the remaining bricks to determine the answer.

2.) Use addition flashcards in conjunction with Legos or Duplos to help your kids really visualize and understand the nature of subtraction.

Greater Than Less Than (ages 4 and up):

Depending on the child’s age, direct him/her to gather either a small collection (for younger) or large collection (for older) of same-sized Lego/Duplo bricks. Direct the child to divide the collection into two random groups and then count to decide which group is greater than and which is less than. For a more advanced/older student, you can have them build bars of same colors within each half to make counting easier, or make bars of tens in each group for easy multiplying to which they can then add the extras remaining.

toys19monster math

*Make simple greater than/ less than and equals symbol cut-outs from cardstock, use colored jumbo popsicle sticks like we did, or make it extra fun with this MONSTER MATH craft we’ve had pinned for forever and keep forgetting about: Pinterest link; GREATER THAN LESS THAN

Fractions (ages 7 and up):

Have your child select between 2 and 10 equal-sized Lego or Duplo bricks and build them together in any way they like. Discuss with your child how each brick makes up a fraction or part of the whole structure. Introduce the terms: whole, half, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, etc. Remove bricks and discuss how much of the whole remains. Example: a Lego pyramid made up of 10 bricks; when three tenths are removed, seven tenths will remain. Do some examples for your child and then allow him/her to repeat it back as well as experiment with new fractions and structures. Go slow and allow time for exploration. Many parents go nuts when it’s time for fractions. If it doesn’t click, breathe and try it again tomorrow.

Percentages (ages 10 and up):

Collect any random assortment of Lego or Duplo bricks of the same size. Have your child divide them into groups by color, count each group, and mark down the amounts on a piece of paper. Then have your child add the amounts in each group to determine the total number of bricks. Have your child select any group and determine the percentage that group represents of the whole number of bricks. Example: “What percentage of these Lego bricks is blue?” I recommend starting with ten bricks for the first lesson, and 100 bricks for the second lesson which will make percentages much easier to understand when out of 10 or out of 100. Then slowly move on to more random numbers.

Example: in a random selection of 43 bricks where 15 of them are blue, the child would divide 15 by 43 to find what percentage blue represents of the whole. The answer in this case is .3488. To obtain the percentage, the child would multiply this number by 100 which moves the decimal to the right two places. Then the child woud round up to come up with 34.9% or 35%. Repeat the process and go slow. Percentages are a tricky concept.

Mean, Median, & Mode (ages 12 and up):

Oh gosh, am I the only one who starts breaking out in hives when I read that heading? I hated these in school. But I’ll tell you one thing, it was certainly never demonstrated for me with Legos! First, a quick review:

Mean: the average of a group of numbers

Median: the middle-most digit in a group of numbers

Mode: the most repeated number in a group of numbers

lego 2

Collect any random assortment of Lego or Duplo bricks of the same size. Have your child divide them into groups by color, build each color group into a bar, and mark down on a piece of paper how many bricks are in each bar according to color. Example: 9 bars; 4 blue, 3 yellow, 6 green, 2 red, 3 brown, 5 white, 7 black, 5 gray, and 5 orange.

To find the MEAN: Add 4 + 3 + 6 + 2 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 5 + 5 and divide that sum by 9 (the total number of bars) to determine the “mean” or “average” of the 9 bars is 4.44.

To find the MEDIAN: Have your child arrange the bars in ascending order: 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7 . Select the bar in the middle which in this example would be 5.

To find the MODE: Have your child determine what is the most repeated number or most common number in the set, which in this example would be 5.


~Instead of “Counting Bears”~

counting bears

Instead use: figurines, army men, action figures, blocks, Legos, game pieces, Magnatiles, cars, marbles, dolls or accessories, Easter eggs, or any small/colorful duplicated item~

Math Lessons using any of the above counters:

Sort by color (ages 2-4): 

toys12

Number Sequencing/ Step Ladder/Counting (ages 3-6):

Have your child place numbers 1-10 or higher in sequence (pictured are sandpaper numbers, but you can use any number flashcards or make your own on index cards or cardstock). Then direct or show the child how to arrange the correct number of counters next to or below each number to create a visual sequence or step ladder.

Make Patterns (ages 3 and up):

toys13

Addition (ages 3-7):

toys24

Subtraction (ages 4-8):

Greater Than Less Than (ages 4-8): refer to same instructions under Lego /Duplo Math above omitting the “bars”

Percentage (ages 10 and up): refer to same instructions under Lego / Duplo Math above


~Marble Math~

toys8

Math Lessons using marbles:

marble

Remember these joyous word problems for probability? Well, here’s an idea: let’s introduce the concept with actual marbles like my mom did! Marbles are math magic; you can teach so many lessons with the humble, classic marble!

Some of these lessons will involve your child actually getting to shoot the marbles across the floor or send them down a marble run! Serious PARENT POINTS.

Use for any of the activities listed in “Counting Bears”

toys11

Averages (ages 8 and up):

*This is the one where your kids GET TO SHOOT MARBLES ACROSS THE FLOOR OR SEND THEM DOWN A MARBLE RUN!

For this activity, you will need a stop watch or stop watch feature on an iPhone and a marble run set, or you can do this with shooting marbles and a tape measure on a very long non-carpeted floor.

  • Marble Run: build a marble run together and select one to three marbles. Using your stopwatch, time how long it takes each marble to finish its run and have your child write down the number of runs and times as you go. After completing a predetermined number of runs, determine the marble’s average speed by adding the times of each run together and then dividing that sum by the total number of runs. Then repeat the same process with other marbles to determine which marble has the fastest average run speed.

toys32

  • Shooting marbles: have you child select one to three marbles. Designate a starting point for shooting the marble that provides a massively long shooting range, like a very long hall. Shoot the marble and measure it’s distance traveled for a set number of runs. Find the marble’s average distance traveled by adding the distances traveled together and then dividing that sum by the total number of runs. Then repeat the same process with other marbles to determine which marble travels the longest average distance.

toys33

Probability (ages 8 and up): 

Print any probability word problems off of Google, Pinterest, or TeachersPayTeachers, and introduce the concept with a bag of marbles.

toys9


~Nerf Target-Math~

nerfNerf Target photo credit

Math Lessons using Nerf Targets

Addition (ages 5-10):

1.) Play to get 100 points in every turn with up to three shots per turn (this may vary by Nerf board). Example: if on the child’s turn he scores 30 on the first shot and 40 on the second shot, he would then try to aim for 30 again to get a perfect score. You can include other rules and gameplay such as: scores over 100 don’t count, if you score a high number you can “stick with that” rather than risk shooting again, etc.

2.) Play normally and have the child keep score.

Averages (ages 8 and up): 

Have your child keep score during a game or target practice. Then, have your child determine what their average target score was in that game by adding their scores together and dividing that sum by the total number of turns/rounds.

Mean, Median, and Mode (ages 12 and up): refer to the same instructions under Legos, but instead use scores.


~Instead of Spindles~

Math Lessons with Tinker Toys, Chopsticks, Popsicle Sticks, or Lincoln Logs

Count them (ages 2-5): refer to stame instructions as under “Counting Bears”

Addition (ages 3-7): refer to stame instructions as under “Counting Bears”

Subtraction (ages 4-8): refer to stame instructions as under “Counting Bears”

Greater Than Less Than (ages 4-8): refer to same instructions under Lego /Duplo Math above omitting the “bars”


~Instead of Plastic Coins, Go for GOLD~

Money Math

*using real coins and play paper bills (or real bills, you high-roller!)

Another Day another DOLLAR (ages 4-8):

1.) Use pennies in rows of tens to get to 100 cents (count by ones)

2.) Use nickels in pairs to get to 100 cents (count by fives)

3.) Use dimes in a bar of 10 to get to 100 cents (count by tens)

4.) Use quarters in a bar of 4 to get to 100 cents (count by twenty-five)

MORE MONEY MATH:

There are so, so, so many free money math activities / printables on teacherspayteachers.com. If you haven’t already, create a free homeschool account! To cut down your search time, I’ve posted two awesome FREE money activity printables to ~Our Holistic Homeschool~ Pinterest page, check it out here:


~Toy Factory Math~

 Math Lessons that work with ANY TOYS

Have your child prepare toys in a factory (or Santa’s workshop) for distribution!

Measure toys (ages 4-10): 

toys36

Have your child use a tape measure or ruler to measure toys and record the lengths on paper. Next, you can have the child arrange the toys by height or length.

Weigh toys (ages 4-10):

Have your child use a scales to weigh their toys and record the weights on paper. Next, you can have the child arrange the toys by weight.

Addition (ages 3-7):

Play toy store with your child, and allow them to pick out two or more toys (fewer for younger) and then help them add the prices of the two toys together to determine how much money they will need to pay. For younger children, use coin amounts like: 5 cents for a bear and 7 cents for a pony. For older children, use paper bills and cents like: 3.75 for a yoyo and 5.62 for a Nerf gun.

toys35

Averages (ages 8 and up):

Begin with the measuring and weighing activities above even though they are for little kids. Next, have your child determine the average height, length, and/or weight of the toys by adding together the amounts and dividing by the number of toys.

Calculate Sales Tax:

Have your child calculate your state’s sales tax by multiplying (on paper or with a calculator) the toy’s price by the sales tax amount, and then adding that to the item’s price for purchase. You will need to show your child how to do the percentage on the calculator, or how to move the decimal.


WANT READING LESSONS & ACTVITIES??? Tune in for tomorrow’s post: TEACH WITH TOYS (part III); the READING RESOURCES LURKING IN YOUR HOME!

PLEASE SHARE THESE ACTIVITES WITH ANOTHER FAMILY!

Comment below what manipulatives you find in your toy box!


Thank you so much for following our 19 DAY JOURNEY! Tomorrow is day 19! I can’t believe it! 

Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~

4 Replies to “Day 18: TEACH WITH TOYS (part II); the MATH MANIPULATIVES lurking in your home!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s