Math practice at home over the holidays

It’s that time of year when families are gathering and excitement and anticipation for the holidays fill the air.  With the flurry of activity, math practice might not come to mind, but listed below are some ideas to incorporate practical applications into your holiday preparations. Here are some real-life, fun (at least I think so!) ways for your older elementary child to get in some math review, with an added bonus of also spending time together with you.

  • Estimate costs: When you’re out holiday shopping, discuss what your budget is for the item(s) on your list. Have her estimate the total price of purchases to stay within budget. If your child has started learning multiplication of decimals, have them also estimate tax to be included in the total purchase price.
  • Determine sale prices: Another holiday shopping idea! Have your child practice his multiplication and percentage skills by figuring out what the sale price of an item is based on the discount being offered.
  • Fractions practice: Baking is one of the best and easiest ways to incorporate fractions practice. Need more or less than what the recipe calls for? Double the recipe and have your child calculate the new proportions for each ingredient; do the same when you need to halve the recipe. Additionally, when 1 cup of an ingredient is called for, have your child come up with another way to make 1 cup – 4 1/4 cups, perhaps?

    math practice using fractions in the kitchen

    Incorporating fractions practice is easy to do in the kitchen!

  • Calculate a tip: If you venture out to a restaurant together, have your child estimate the tip on a bill. Discuss why tips are usually within a range of 15% – 20% of the bill depending on service, and have her calculate both ends of the range, and maybe even somewhere in between.

There are many easy ways to incorporate math practice in your every day lives. Do you have other suggestions that you use at home?


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