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Turning Chore Time into Math Time

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 9/11/2012

Use these outdoor math activities to turn outdoor time into math time. Why not show your child how math can work for them in their every day world using these outdoor activities?

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    Chore Time

    You would be surprised by the math skills that your children develop doing their every day chores; math skills come in handy in other places than the classroom. Use some of the tips below to help your child enhance his or her math skills with these outdoor math activities at chore time.

    • Have your child go outside and help you plan a garden. Practice arithmetic skills as you try to decide how many rows you will need and how large the rows need to be.
    • Measure the perimeter of the yard to help practice measuring skills as well as geometry skills.
    • Organize the tools so that they are in like groups. For instance, put the rakes with the rakes and the shovels with the shovels. Talk with your child about the method you are using to group like objects.
    • As you rake the yard, tell the child to rake it into a certain amount of equal piles or you can practice "less than" and "greater than" skills as you talk about which pile is which.
    • Have your child practice making different geometrical shapes as they mow the yard.
    • Practice using a timer by timing how fast outside chores can get done.
    • Have your child design his own garden and a budget for the garden. Next, measure the space needed, plan and work your garden.
    • Look at different kinds of leaves with your child. Put them in like groups and discuss what they have in common that makes them belong in those groups. Count the points on the leaves. Count the leaves. Put all the leaves together, then divide them into halves, quarters, eighths and so on.
    • Give your child an allowance for outside chores. Instead of one weekly amount, give each chore a set fee. At the end of each week, sit down with your child and figure up the amount you owe them. Make it challenging by timing them and helping them to figure out how much they make an hour by doing their chores.