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Activities: 6-9 year-olds

There are all sorts of ways you can have fun exploring maths with your child in everyday life. Whenever your child uses maths in activities or play, explain that they’re using maths. This helps them to realise how much we all use maths every day.

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.
  • Talk about the shape and size of objects. Look online for interesting facts, like tallest and shortest people, or biggest and smallest buildings etc.
  • Collect information and create a tally chart – for example to find out the family’s favourite animal or fruit etc.

Around the house

  • Cooking. Measure ingredients and set the timer together. Get your child to work out how much more food you will need if extra people are coming for dinner.
  • When you are sharing food like pizza or cake, ask your child to help you share it equally between the number of people eating.
  • Solve problems at home. For example, ask your child how many apples to buy at the shop and why, or how long it will take you to get to Gran’s house if you go to the library on the way.
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Out and about

  • Go on a shape hunt. How many circles, squares, rectangles or triangles can your child find? Are they 2D or 3D? Try getting them to look for patterns and symmetry.
  • Ask your child to give you directions to a local landmark or an important place. Get them to work out how long each stage of the journey takes.
  • Use sticks for shape challenges – for instance, how many triangles can they make with 9 sticks?
  • Explore the local area. Ask your child to guess how many buildings are on the street, how far it is to the nearest river, or how many dogs and cats live in your town. Ask for the reasons behind their answers.
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Games & Play

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

Money activities

Estimate

At the shops, ask your child to estimate how much 3 or 4 items will cost together. 

Pocket money

Give your child small amounts of pocket money. For example, you might give them 50p a week and ask them what they think they can buy with it – or, if they want to save for something bigger, how long it will take to reach their goal. 

What have we bought?

Talk about the items you buy. Ask your child which are more expensive, which are cheaper, which are heavier, which are lighter etc. 

Quantities

Explore quantities by asking your child to think about how many different ways they can make £1. For example, how many 10p coins do you need to make £1? 

Correct change

When you buy something, get your child to hand you the correct money and check the change with them afterwards.

Talk to your child about where money comes from.

Talk about how we get paid to do work or explain the other places that money comes from. You can also talk about this in relation to their own money, whether gifts or pocket money.  

Get the Family Maths Toolkit

We've made made all of our 230+ Family Maths Toolkit resources freely available. 

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 and television

Ask your child about the numbers or maths in any story they read or TV programme they watch. For instance, you could talk about how fast the cars are going on Top Gear, the scores on Strictly Come Dancing, or how many years ago events on history programmes took place.

Lots of books present opportunities to talk about maths. You could try some of these:

For 6-7 year-olds

  • The Shopping Basket by John Burningham
  • 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein – a great book for teaching children that it’s ok to make mistakes and that you can learn from them.

For 8-9 year-olds

  • The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden
  • The Daring Book for Girls by Andrew J Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl – you could talk, for instance, about how many pheasants they caught.

Some links to other resources

 

BBC Maths

The BBC's Maths Channel has some useful videos about maths in everyday life.

BBC

The Money Helper

The Money Helper website has tips for talking to children of different ages about money, including activity ideas and resources.

Money helper

Lampogo

Lampogo 3 is a card and counter game that's great fun for parents and children to play together, practising addition, subtraction and problem-solving skills.

lampogo

Blog on data handling outdoors

Ideas for collecting data about the local area and making charts using chalk.

Creative star

Blog: Maths 4 Mums and Dads

Helpful tips for parents/carers on how to support their children with maths

Maths4MumsandDads

One Hundred Hungry Ants - book

One hundred very hungry ants hurry to sample the delights of a picnic, but instead of marching single file, they divide into smaller rows - a lesson in division and a visual introduction to maths.

ants

Buy: Spaghetti and meatballs for all

Mr. and Mrs. Comfort have arranged tables and chairs to seat 32 people at their family reunion. But the guests have their own ideas for seating. Area and perimeter come alive as the family makes room for everyone.

book

Buy: How big is a million

Pipkin the smallest penguin is always asking questions - this picture book helps children understand the concept of big numbers.

Million

100 things to count to 100

Ideas for all the different things you can count around the house.

100things

Blog: The Happy Housewife

Ideas for using maths in the kitchen.

happy house

Blog: What do we do all day

Ideas for activities during the school holidays.

mathsafterschool

Skills we are practising

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