One of the new maths successes we have had lately is our Maths basket. We started it as a way of encouraging the kids to practice more Maths in a relaxed manner and it seems to be working. The basket is kept in our main lounge area but it does move around the house. It contains a mix of items which I do change for time to time but I always try to have something in there that is for my daughter, something for my son and something that we can do together as a family.
I thought I would show you what we currently have in our basket and also explain why I have included them.
Foam Dice and Bean Bags (the foam dice are from Tiger UK and the Bean bags are very old but originally from Early Learning Center). These are currently the only two “permanent members” of our basket and it is purely because my kids often use them for games that they create. And it does not have to be complex games. Just throwing the dice and working out sums. Throwing the dice and then throwing the bean bags and the two dice that the beans bags land on are added together or multiplied together. Combining the bean bags with loop cards that might be in the basket or combing the bean bags with some toys. My youngest has been working on ordinal numbers so we had a game where he set out his cars and then he threw the bean bags and he had to tell me which position car the bean bag was closest too.
Loop Cards. I have mentioned before that my kids like Maths Loop Cards so I am currently trying to keep at least 2 sets in the basket at all times. One set for my youngest (doubling and halving numbers at the moment) and one for my daughter (currently improper fractions). Sometimes we do end up with a few more sets in the basket. The loop cards work well as it something that the kids can do individually or together with someone.
Also some matching cards – The Ice-cream place value set for my son and a decimal numbers matching set for my daughter (both Twinkl platinum classic). The decimal matching set was not included the video clip I shared on facebook as my daughter had taken them upstairs.
Dominoes – honestly just a fun game for us to play together and whenever we play it the kids are always working on numbers.
Dive into Shapes set – this is in the basket mainly for my son but both kids love the set. They follow the designs on the cards and they often design their own items. I have already written two separate posts about this set – dive into shapes and extending our 3D shapes into drawing and shared a video on our facebook page just because my kids use it so often.
Rainbow Fraction Bingo Set – in the basket as my daughter is working on fractions and the equivalent fraction side of the game is great revision for her.
The contents of our Maths basket changes but the purpose always stays the same. A relaxed way of encouraging both kids to practice more Maths. For us this means the kids can take items out of the basket whenever they want, they can combine the items in the basket with other items or they can use them as intended. We also use the basket in our more formal learning activities. If I am spending some one-to-one time with one of the kids I sometimes ask the other kid to select something out of the basket to do. It works well in both instances.
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