The holidays are right around the corner, and with them come countless opportunities for parents to engage their children in math in festive and entertaining ways, says Laura Overdeck, mother of three and founder of the popular Bedtime Math national online community.
Below are three of Laura’s best winter holiday math tips.
1. Geometry and snowflakes. Making paper snowflakes is a favorite winter activity for kids of all ages. When your little ones are cutting out their six-sided snowflake designs, teach them about different geometric shapes. Point out the triangles, squares, diamonds, and circles that make their pieces of paper look like a snowflake. Count how many sides each shape has, and compare the different shapes to see how they’re different.
2. Holiday counting. Opportunities to practice counting exist everywhere during the holiday season! Count ornaments as you hang them on the tree, candles as you light them in the menorah, and holiday cards as they arrive in the mail. For an extra challenge, use an advent calendar to practice counting backwards. Each time your child marks off a day on their calendar, have them count backwards from the date of Christmas or Hanukah to figure out how many days remain until the holiday.
3. How tall is your snowman? Next time it snows, head outside to build a big, tall snowman. Once he (or she) is complete, bring out a measuring tape or a yard stick and measure your snowman’s height. Compare the height of the snowman to your children’s heights – who is taller?