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Activities: 10-13 year-olds

There are lots of activities you can do with children that explore maths in the real world. Helping your child see the maths in things they’re doing anyway helps them understand that maths isn’t just a school subject. It’s useful outside of the classroom too!

On this page we've listed just a few ideas to get you thinking about numbers with your children. Some ideas that work almost anywhere include:

  • Talk about time. For example, get your child to work out what time you need to leave the house to get to school on time.
  • Ask your child to talk about the maths they have come across in their favourite hobby.
  • Talk about numbers in sport. How many points does your team need to avoid relegation? How many goals/tries/conversions/points/runs has your team scored this season?
  • Talk about shape, size and quantity. Use the internet to find interesting size facts like most and least populated cities, highest mountains or deepest lakes.
  • Explore the local area. Ask your child to guess how many people live in your town, how far it is to the nearest airport etc. Ask for the reasons behind their answer and check the answers online.

Around the house

  • Cooking. Measure ingredients and set the timer together. Talk about fractions in cooking – for example, ask how many quarter cups make a cup.

  • Talk about proportions – for example, when you make a cup of tea or squash, ask your child how much milk or how much water they’re using.

  • Look for maths on the TV, in newspapers or magazines and talk about it together. You might find percentages in special offers, probability in weather reports, salaries in the job section, or simply the length of TV shows.

  • Solve maths problems at home. For example: “we have 3 pizzas cut into quarters – if we eat 10 quarters, how many will be left?”


Out and about

  • Directions. When travelling somewhere familiar, ask your child to give you directions and timings, then test their directions out. If they get something wrong, ask them to think of the best way to get back to where you want to go.

  • Look for patterns and symmetry when out and about.

  • Talk about the buildings or landscapes around you. For example, ask your child to think about how they can estimate how many bricks were used to build a local landmark, or how many trees are in the park.

  • On journeys, talk with your child about how many miles or kilometres you have travelled, how many are left and what time you should reach your destination.


Games & Play

Scroll through these cards for a few ideas to get you started...

Money activities

Use a phone

If your child has a mobile phone, use it to talk about maths and money saving. Look together for the best plans: does their network sell any extras that would make texts or calls cheaper? Is it cheaper to text or to use Messenger, Snapchat or Whatsapp?

At the shops

When buying a couple of items, ask your child to work out how much they will cost together. As a challenge for older children, ask them to estimate what the weekly shop will come to. Work out offers in supermarkets together. Ask them to work out which are the best deals


Ask your child to check your change when shopping with cash.

Spending money

Use pocket money as an opportunity to talk about maths. Is your child saving for anything? How much do they need to save each week to buy it?


Travelling. Ask your child to help you work out whether it’s cheaper to drive or take public transport. Are there any deals you can get on public transport?

Bank account

Talk to your child about getting a bank account. Look together at what’s on offer for young people opening their first account and see which is the best deal.

Get the Family Maths Toolkit

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All you have to do is fill in a quick web form (so we know how many people we're helping!) then you can access them all at your leisure. 

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Books, television and film

Ask your child about the maths in any story they read or TV programme they watch. This helps children see how maths is used all the time. Whatever they’re reading or watching, there are chances to talk about maths – for example:

  • How did the ‘clock’ work in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins?
  • How long does it take Alex Rider to solve his missions in the series by Anthony Horowitz?
  • How many votes are being cast on shows with a public vote such as Strictly Come Dancing? How do the public vote and judges’ scores work together to decide who goes through?

Some links to other resources


Star Dash Studios

Star Dash Studios is a free smartphone game that helps young people see everyday maths in vocational settings.

Star Dash Stuidios

The Money Helper

A guide for parents and carers about introducing children to sensible money habits they will need as adults.

Money helper


PLYT is a competitive maths game for the whole family, proven to improve maths and confidence with numbers.


City of zombies

City of Zombies is a fast, fun and engaging game that inspires creative number play with numbers.

City of zombies

Maths on the go

This book contains 101 simple tips, games and activities to make practising maths enjoyable, for you as well as your child.

Maths on the go

Rooster money

Help your children track pocket money, spending and saving with the Rooster Money app.


What are the Chances

Probability, statistics, ratios and proportions are explored in this colourful book which shows how maths relates to the everyday world.


Skills we are practising

  • Counting
  • Number relationships
  • Measuring
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Numbers between whole numbers
  • Place value
  • Fractions
  • Estimation
  • Handling data
  • Comparison
  • Pattern and sequences
  • Order
  • Problem solving and reasoning
  • Shape
  • Speed
  • Angles