Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Unschooling Tools::Math Play

When Stephanie posted that todays Unschooling Tools post would be about math, I began to wonder what we do that would  be interesting to people that would fit under this category.  Anyone that knows us knows that we do alot of baking.  And baking is math.  And reading.  And then I sat down and made a list and realized that there are lots of things that we do that fall under the category of math (including a fabulous new game that we bought yesterday)! 

Legos:The girls, especially Grace are really into Legos. They are way better at building with Lego's than I ever was (which just goes to show that they have a much more mathematical mind than I do)! Their ability to create things from these wonderful little blocks is just incredible and I love that Grace (and on occasion Emma too) will follow the diagrams shown in the books that come with each set to make the creations that make up each set.  Too cool!
Baking: We do lots of baking in our family. Not only is it fun, but it's yummy too! When we bake the girls have started to read the recipe (with help from mama). They love to locate each fraction on the various measuring cups and spoons, and we have started to talk about what fractions are. Grace even made up a little song that "two halves make a whole" and then she clanks the half cup measuring cup twice against the one cup measuring cup. Pretty smart if you ask me!
Beeswax: Very handy for creating numbers so that littles can see what each number "feels" like. And honestly, it's just super fun to play with! We have used our beeswax numbers to play all sorts of grames we've made up.  Games like: putting the numbers in a bag and then having one of the girls reach in, feel around and see if she can identity the number in her hand before taking it out of the bag. Choosing a number and then getting the corresponding amount of items (the girls love this one, especially if the items that they get are edible ones), and having a number hunt!  The possibilities are endless.
Games:  Games like Uno, Candy Land, The Ladybug Game, various puzzles, and now Number Hunt are wonderful and are all mathematical in their own right.  Number Hunt was purchased yesterday and has quickly become a beloved game.  It's a great way to work on number identification, counting, one to one correspondance and addition.  It gets two thumbs up for our family (and as an added bonus it's eco-friendly)!  
It's funny how at first I didn't think we had much to offer in the way of fun ways to incorporate math into our days but looking at this post we surely do!  And looking at all these super fun ways to experience different mathematical concepts sure makes me wish that this was the way I learned math. It's definitely way more fun (and natural) than completing lots of math worksheets!


  1. Love the beeswax idea, will be giving that a try soon. Thanks!

  2. Beeswax is so fun! The water you see in the pictures is nice and warm and helps get the beeswax soft enough to mold. You can also warm it up in your hand by playing with it but that does take alot longer! :)

  3. I thought the same thing--not that I felt we didn't have or do, just that I don't really separate most of it into categories! :)
    And Maddie has those same pink legos!
    Thanks so much for adding your ideas, Shel.

  4. I am so glad there is a post with Legos ! :)

    Lots of math concepts going on there. What a great post!