Making Math Tangible for Kids

My son gives his dad a score every morning for reversing the car out of the garage on the way to work. The other day, my son flashed four 10-fingered hands. Here's the conversation that followed.

Me: "Wow, Dad got a 40 today!"

Son: Nooooo, he got a 20.

Me: Four 10s is 40.

Son: Nooooo, it's 20.

I clearly was not going to win this argument, so we agreed to disagree. After school, we would do a project to understand what four 10s amounted to.

So after school, I collected an assortment of beads, pom poms, pipe cleaners and wooden spools from our craft basket. My son was eager to explore the objects. I asked him to make 1 group of 10 and then a second, third and fourth. He then counted each and every bead. 

When I asked him what four groups of 10 equaled, he looked at me like duh, it's 40! Well, mission accomplished.

Math can be so abstract for kids. It's really helpful to use everyday objects to make it real. We add and subtract with blueberries. We reverse addition equations using biscotti. And we make equal piles of Hot Wheels. It's a positive and engaging way to introduce math operations and equations to younger kids. Our little dude loves doing "math" even though we've never actually called it that!

Hope you find this tip helpful!



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

★ Reviews

What our customers are saying

9 reviews
Making the kids think and be inspired

Got this as a gift for my nephew and niece. Their mother is a teacher and didn't want the typical video game or off-the-shelf present. So I got this hoping they would like it. Even better. They loved it and so did mom. So kid-approved and mom-approved.

Really nice to see when kids are interacting and actually learning. Reminds me of the time when I'd watch Nova and PBS and be so curious about the world. Thank you.

This just made our day! We're so happy your niece and nephew are enjoying their learning adventures!
3 Months ($24.50/mo)

Enjoying the adventures!

Great variety of activities!

My kids really enjoyed learning where chocolate comes from, how it is made, tasting it, and doing a craft all centered around chocolate. It was very well thought out box with everything they needed ready to go. We hope to explore other boxes from Plum Spark!

So glad your family enjoyed it! We hope you'll check more Plum Spark learning adventures too!
We maximized family time with Plum Spark!

Our family loved receiving our first Plum Spark learning adventure! The kids (ages 4-8) were super excited to gather around the box that came in the mail for them and open together. My oldest took the lead to pull out and examine each activity one at a time. The topic explored in this month’s box is Yoga, and the activities included were super fun for them! The boys gravitated towards a spice matching activity game, and I, as a mom, was pleasantly surprised with the sophisticated and high quality guide book and spice cards that had facts and information not only relevant and interesting to the small people in my life, but also me as an adult! Who knew cumin oil was used in some perfumes??!! We also loved the yoga cards and poses to try as a family and had a fun experience practicing together. My daughter adored the hands-on inner ear activity, and I appreciated having all of the important parts of the craft perfectly curated for me so less hassle and more family time. Excellent educational product! Couldn’t be happier with our family’s purchase and will definitely be a subscriber!

Learning made fun!

My daughter really enjoyed this kit, she can’t stop doing her yoga poses now! The activities are fun and are stimulating a lot of curiosity in my little one. The activities are well explained and there is a lot of attention in every little detail. It is also a great opportunity to try new things that you wouldn’t have imagined that your kid could be interested in! We really loved doing it together!