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Do you ever help your grandchildren with math homework such as learning their times tables? For some children, those facts come as easy as pie. For others it's more of a struggle. For those with learning disabilities, it can be worse than trying to push a wheelbarrow full of heavy bricks up a steep hill in the middle of a category 500 hurricane! I don't know a total solution to this but we have found a couple of activities for grandparents and grandchildren to make it a bit more fun and interesting, and that's a big part of the battle, isn't it?
When my kids were young, they had a teacher who taught them a game he called Skittle math. I have no clue how he did it, but the name stuck in my brain and we've made our own version. You need:
- Flash cards – purchased or homemade on index cards. These can have whatever facts your granchildren are learning – addition, subtraction, division, and/or multiplication.
- A big bowl of Skittles, M & Ms, or other tiny candy (it will be touched a lot so make sure it won't be messy).
- For those with food allergies or grandparents who don't want to add more sugar to their grandkids' diets (that's me 🙂 ) – Use pennies.
TO PLAY:Hold up the flash cards for them to see the problem and give the answer. Every time they get it right, they get a candy/penny. Every time they miss, they give it back and I say the problem and correct answer three times. They usually like to repeat it once. That way they hear it, see it, AND speak it – great ways to help them learn. Depending on the child, you can work quickly or take it slow. I make sure there is a good mix of easy and hard problems, so they always have a winning pile, making them eager to play again.
My older grandkids and I are enjoying playing multiplication math games right now. My younger grandkids and I are having fun with these addition games (as well as some other, simple, kindergarten games). Hopefully once they have these basic facts learned, the subtraction and division will come naturally. If not, we'll just start including those as we keep playing these math games. One nice thing is that the younger ones often enjoy listening to their older siblings play these multiplication math games and the multiplication CD I keep in the car. I'm hoping that means they'll have an easier time learning multiplication when it's their turn!
These aren't solutions. But they are fun ways to help both the kindergarten and elementary school grand-students. For Sandwich Generation Granny Nannies with lots of different aged grandkids, that's a BIG HELP.
What addition and/or multiplication math games, CDS and other ideas do you use to help your grandkids learn their times tables? We'd love to hear in the comments section. 🙂