Have Fun and Stay Smart

Sneaky ways to incorporate math into games and sports this summer

Settling into the second lazy summer month of July, lethargy has begun to creep in and take over. You must stop it before it becomes all consuming!

Don’t let it come to this…

Learning is a lot more fun when it’s a game. Additionally (pun intended) applying mathematics to real life gives kids a glimpse into how learning math can help them in everyday situations. Applied learning can be fun!

Sports are a great way to practice probability, statistics, and basic equations of motion! Simultaneously exercise the body and the mind with these smart sport tips! (Say ‘smart sport tips’ 5 times fast)

Hopscotch

Draw fractions, negative numbers and decimals in the hopscotch boxes and tell your child to hop to the answer to an equation you’ve drawn. Or add symbols to your hopscotch, have one child hop on an equation and the other hop to the answer.

Something like this!

Baseball

Baseball is already full of math. It’s a great way to practice statistics. From batting averages to ERA’s there are a million ways to calculate baseball. You can ask your child to count how many bases a player has touched based on their singles, doubles and triples or how many bases a player would have to steal for their stolen bases to equal their home runs stat.

Golf

Aside from simple addition to calculate your strokes, calculating your handicap in golf involves a lot of math! You have to do averaging, calculate the difficulty of the course, slope rating and course length and then plug those into a formula to get your handicap!

This is what really goes on inside the mind of a professional golfer.

Football

Ask your kids to calculate what method a team would need to use (touchdown, 2 point conversion, extra point, field goal, safety) in order to get ahead or tie the score. You can also calculate yardage!

Positioning in most sports involves a lot of geometry. In golf its all about the angle of the hole in relation to the angle of your body and the way you hold the club. The arc of a swing is directly related to the line in which the ball will fly. Things get even more complicated when it comes to putting and the curve of the green. If the green slopes one way, you have to calculate the force and direction with which you will hit the ball. Similarly in baseball the arc and force of a swing will determine how far and where the ball will land. A lot of this is intuitive but it forces players to think geometrically!

Rainy Day? No problem. These board games are chock full of fun math.

Monopoly

There’s nothing like good ol’ counting money to motivate kids to learn math!

Make it rain Monopoly money

Connect 4

Geometric thinking, planning and pattern recognition. And really loud pieces as an added bonus!

Rummikub

Rummikub is a great way to get your kids practicing math facts, counting in their heads and learning math shortcuts. It’s also great for color and number matching!

For more examples of how math can be applied to everyday life check out mathalicious.com!

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