A few years back another mother got smart and started hiding vegetables in her kid’s food so they would not know they were there, and would consume them unknowingly. There really was no harm done, as the kids got a satisfying meal and also ate their recommended amount of vegetables.
Believe it or not, you can sneak math into your child’s summer vacation kind of like you can sneak sweet potatoes into spaghetti sauce. There’s no sorcery involved, only the following suggestions:
Going on a trip? Do the math. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bring math workbooks on vacation. Instead, consider planning your trip using math. For example, you can calculate the distance you’ll be traveling and how long it will take going several different speeds. Make a chart with times and estimates as you pass through different towns and re-calculate as necessary. Make it a challenge and offer a small reward for the passenger with the closest time as you pass through certain towns. If traveling by plane, modify the plan using air travel, adjusting for delays and layovers. Once you arrive at your destination, subliminally sneak in math problems…calculate the speed of races in the sand, G-forces on a ride, or how many steps it takes to reach the water’s edge!
Bring math to the kitchen! The kitchen is a great place to learn about fractions! Each week, sit down and scour the internet for family friendly recipes that you can prepare together. Use the recipes to adjust for the amount of people you will be serving! Occasionally invite over guests so that the numbers change and present a challenge. Make a list of groceries needed and plan a trip to the store with a projected budget. Use coupons and in-store sale items to adjust the math while you shop! Incorporate bake times and temperatures into your covert math lesson. Each time you prepare a meal, oversee the math to ensure it is correct (1 tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon can wreck the whole meal!), but let your kids take the lead.
Plant your own math garden. While we are certain your child would love to plant some long division in the ground and make it disappear, we are referring to an actual garden! Use weather charts to predict the right time to plant your garden. Measure rain and sunlight to know how often to water. Use math to figure out how big of a space your garden will take up and how many seeds to plan in a particular area. Once you have a harvest, gather it daily and count each item picked, adding it to the running total.
Make some money doing math. This suggestion will rid your house of clutter and earn everyone some extra spending money! Purge the house of unwanted toys and clothes, and host a yard sale. Let the children clearly label each item that is theirs so they can keep track of their sales. Each time someone pays for their items, let the kids do the addition and exchange of money (you will want to supervise and step-in when needed).
It is summer break, after all, so go easy on them. There may be days where hidden math is hard to do and there is a lack of focus, but just keep getting creative and don’t forget to join in on the fun!