4 Summer Activities to Strengthen Math Skills

Keep your kids’ math skills strong with these summertime activities that are fun for kids and “teacher approved!”
Baseball Scorecards: According to math and reading tutor Debbie Natoli, baseball season is the perfect time for kids to sharpen their math skills. During the summer, Natoli’s 3 sons create baseball scorecards while they watch each other’s little league games.

To create the cards, Natoli downloads and prints the free scorecard templates baseballscorecard.com, and then has her kids fill in the cards while watching the games. Not only are her boys learning to compute batting averages and formulate statistics, they’re also able to share their findings with their brothers’ teammates which makes the learning more meaningful and relatable.

Crazy Hopscotch: Educational consultant and author, Beth Sycamore, gets her whole neighborhood practicing math with what she calls “the world’s longest hopscotch board.” The board, which reaches 220 squares, is a huge hit for the kids who use it to practice everything from number identification to multiplication.

Beth’s daughter and her friends have even created “crazy rules” to go with the game such as doing three jumping jacks if you land on a multiple of ten or hopping backwards if you land on an even number.  To make your own board, grab some chalk, a piece of sidewalk and hope for sunny skies!

Farmer’s Market Fun: Kat Eden of Education.com is a big fan of teaching math skills at the farmer’s market. She suggests giving each child $5 and challenging them to see how much produce they can buy. When the family regroups, the kids compare and contrast their purchases, which is not only a fun way to see how far $5 can go but also a great way to get your kids excited about produce.

Make Fraction Popsicles: Making popsicles is a summertime staple, but it’s also a great way to reinforce the concept of fractions.  To make fraction popsicles, follow this recipe courtesy of Beth Sycamore.

You need:

  • 2 types of juice such as orange and cranberry juice
  • Popsicle molds
  • Popsicle sticks

Directions:

  1. Fill each Popsicle mold halfway to the top with orange juice.
  2. Freeze for about an hour before inserting Popsicle stick.
  3. Continue to freeze popsicles for about 3-4 more hours until solid.
  4. Remove from freezer and fill mold to the top with cranberry juice.
  5. Wait 3-4 hours until frozen.
  6. Remove popsicles from tray and discuss how half is orange and half is red.
  7. Try the process again, only this time popsicles into thirds by using 3 types of juice.

Need more math ideas? Check out the math activities developed by University of Chicago Professor Jeanine O’Nan Brownell, who helped develop the Everyday Mathematics curriculum.