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Maths toys/games: what's been money well spent/waste of time

(16 Posts)
BorderBinLiner Thu 15-Sep-11 20:58:36

DD (6) needs a bit of home support, she guesses and smiles and wrapped the previous teacher round her finger.

What's a good buy/ waste of money,
A quick google threw up
Maths Monkey
Orchard games
those 'cuisine' fraction rods....

We have a 4 year old to educate entertain as well.

mrz Thu 15-Sep-11 21:21:44

Orchard games produce some very reasonably prices toys

Spotty Dogs
Pop to the Shop
Scaredy Cat

are all popular with my class

MuggleMum Fri 16-Sep-11 09:12:39


At 6 you don't need to spend money. There's tonnes of incidental maths you can do around the house with household objects - and if it is incidental you might not find yourself in a battle ground.

Use REAL money for counting - massively more interesting to children than plastic coins from Orchard Toys. Let her earn some spending money and count it out with you, and then spend it and get change. This is MASSIVELY useful to her. (I've just run a course for kids struggling with Year 3 maths and you wouldn't believe the number of kids who didn't even recognise the coins.)

Use MEASURING JUGS in the bath. Make a LONG JUMP in the garden. (Do you sew or cook with her? Maths heaven)

Count in twos yourself outloud as you walk up the stairs. She'll hear and learn, and may join in. Skip and count in twos. Don't make her do it, you do it and she will soon copy.

SPOT big numbers on doors as you walk down a street, or choose a swimming locker.

Cut up pizzas into halves and quarters.

Let me know what her issues are (counting? number bonds? tables? adding? taking away and I can send you more FREE ideas .....)

BorderBinLiner Fri 16-Sep-11 09:23:32

Thank you Mrz, kids don't stand still do they. We've been playing a lot of Haba co-operative style games so it's time to move them on o my competetive stuff.

I've also dug out lots of loose change which I'll get them to shine up this weekend then start using more.

munstersmum Fri 16-Sep-11 09:31:25

Top trumps very cheap - I can hear myself saying that before on MN gringrin. Plenty of young/'girlie' ones available eg puppies, high school musical, ice age. Ordering of numbers, recognition of numbers up to 100.

Junior monopoly is excellent. Board is half size & you don't have to work up through 4 houses. Money only single denominations.

savoycabbage Fri 16-Sep-11 09:36:14

Demon Dice

mrsseed Fri 16-Sep-11 09:39:19

In our prep meeting for year 1 we were told to get the real money out, as people dont use it so much anymore, everyone uses cards which means that kids were losing out on mental arithmatic. We now play with money things like which pile is worth more. We used to go and watch trains at the station, I would tell her how many trains we could stay for (she would have stayed for ages otherwise!) she would then tell me how many were left.
Even things like if she asked to run ahead - I would tell her how many lamposts along she could go - then she had to count them.
As for the cooking, back up Mrz big time - not only measuring things on scales, but chopping - so many pieces each, so many people, how many pieces?

Games are great to - we do have some orchard ones, but got much better results from using cash more and using maths in real life.

newtermnewname Fri 16-Sep-11 09:44:16


Get a velcro dart board and child friendly darts. Darts is BRILLIANT for mental maths.

Snakes and Ladders.

BorderBinLiner Fri 16-Sep-11 09:47:47

Cheers Mugglemum, DH & I struggle with maths because we find it too easy and we have forgotten that you have to learn number bonds etc. DD as I said is eager to please and will guess or distract you attention if she feels uncomfortable so we probably have n't given as much support at home as we have with reading.

She's just moved into Year 2 so I thought we'd concentrate on:
number bonds - up to ten, then twenty
simple telling the time - o'clock, half, quarter

She got a great report at the end of last term but she was teachers pet and would just say 'look a fairy' if put on the spot. This year thankfully she has a much less susceptiable teacher but needs some good foundations.

All ideas and areas to look at welcome grin

MrsGravy Fri 16-Sep-11 10:27:48

Ah, thanks for posting this, my DD is the same age and also isn't great at maths. Me and DH are more arty/farty types and neither of us really enjoy maths and numbers so I've struggled to think of fun ways to do things with her.

We've played pontoon - for pennies! Which she really enjoyed and her 4 year old brother could just about keep up with. Another game we've played is to get playing cards up to 10 in 2 of the suits, place them on the table, in 2 piles in their suits but all jumbled up. We all take it in turns to take a card from each pile and add them up - if they add to 10 you get to 'win' that pair, if they don't you can put them back and keep taking it in turns until all the cards have gone. The person with the most pairs of 10 has won. This is great for number bonds and my 2 seem to really enjoy it.

Oh and the school sent home something called 'flick flacks', basically a piece of paper with rows of pictures on - presents or cats or dogs or whatever - in varying amounts under the 10. You fold it up so one row is visible and say 'I have 6 presents, how many do you have?'. Depending on how good her number bonds are already she can either see the other side and just count that there are 4 or you can get her to guess.

MuggleMum, I love the ideas you've posted, could you send me any more please?

justcallmemummypig Fri 16-Sep-11 11:26:35

hi i have a year 2 who struggles with basic maths - cannot seem to remember her number bonds so would be grateful for any more ideas there? Will get the playing cards out tonight and try that x

mrz Fri 16-Sep-11 18:28:32

Playing card games (whist canasta etc) is really good for developing calculation skills
Dominoes and good old fashioned board games

adding the numbers on passing vehicles when out for the day
first person to spot 5 blue cars ...
shapes of road signs
counting the shopping into the trolley at the supermarket
which shapes roll?

muffinflop Fri 16-Sep-11 20:55:48

savoycabbage Am loving the look of Demon Dice. I've not seen that one before (and I'm an educational game obsessive!)

racingheart Fri 16-Sep-11 22:41:28

A bag of sweets and a small gang of children. Maths suddenly matters when they realise that it involves dividing 40 sweets between five children equally.

Works just as well with copper coins while they're young. Once they hit yr 3 they want silver grin

sugarandspiceandallthingsnice Fri 16-Sep-11 23:03:30

justcallmemummypig a great one with number bonds is 10 pin bowling - how many have you knocked down/how many more until you have knocked them all down?

Off to bed now but will have a think ...

BorderBinLiner Sat 17-Sep-11 19:49:10

Right, have ordered a few things and pushed 'household' maths - I'll let you know how it goes....

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