Do you have any activities that I can do with my children that relate to using math in a real world context? - Using Math


Estimation is a useful skill for your children to have both in the real world and in doing math problems at school. Measurement estimation is a particularly practical skill. How far is it to the mailbox? How high is the counter top? It is especially helpful to use body units to get a rough idea of length. For example, if children know the length of their stride, they can easily walk off distances. Then for shorter measures, they can use their fingers and hands. Help your children acquire the measurement-estimation skill by having them measure the length of their fingers, hands, feet and stride. Then they can use their bodies to measure the length of their bedrooms, the distance from the couch to the refrigerator, the size of the TV screen, the width of a window and the size of a book. They can check the accuracy of their measurements by using a tape measure or ruler.

Put mathematics into trips to the grocery store by teaching your children how to estimate what the total will be. Have them round prices to the nearest dollar and then to the nearest 50 cents. They will be amazed to discover that rounding to the nearest 50 cents usually brings their total to within a dollar of the cash register before the tax is added.