Using Numeracy to Get the Job Done with 3,2,1, FUN!

No one really enjoys doing chores, especially a child. What if I told you that not only could you get your child excited about helping out around the house, but you could be supporting his numeracy development at the same time?

Turn this simple chore into a game! First have your child determine how many of each item she will need to set the table.

• How many places do we need to set?
• How many plates, forks, knives, spoons and napkins?
• Do we have enough chairs?

Now ask your child to estimate how long he thinks it will take him to set each item on the table safely.

• How many seconds will it take you to set each plate safely on the table?
• Will it take longer to set the spoons than it will the napkins?

Once he has made his estimations or guesses, start the race! Count down the seconds as your child completes each task. This simple game will have your child racing to help at dinner time.

Set up two laundry hampers at one end of a room. One hamper is for lights and the other is for darks. Play a game of laundry basketball! Challenge your child to a game of one-on-one or get the whole family involved and make teams.

• Keep score! The first team to 10 wins!
• Try taking shots from different distances. Is it easier to get an item into the basket from close or far away? Are shirts easier to slam dunk or socks? Why?

Once the laundry has been dried, there are a variety of fun sorting and folding games for the teams to try.

• The first team to sort their clothes by colour wins!
• The first team to sort the pants, shirts, socks and underwear into piles wins!
• The first team to fold each shirt in half and then quarters wins!
• Match up all the socks. Challenge the other team to another game of laundry basketball using the pairs of socks!

The ideas are endless, and even stinky socks won’t keep your child away from a great game of laundry basketball with the family.

Eye Spy Somebody Cleaning Their Room!

Getting your child to clean their room can be a struggle, but not with this game of Eye Spy.

1. Choose five items from your child’s room and set them on the bed.
2. Instruct your child that while she is cleaning her room, she should hide each of the five items.
3. Once the room is cleaned and the five items are hidden, your child can invite you back into the room. Try to find each item by searching and asking questions. For instance:
• Is the object hidden on top of something or inside something?
• Is the object high or low?
• Am I close to the object or far away?
• How many steps until I reach the object?

Your child will love to watch as you try to discover where he has hidden the items. This game also gives you the opportunity to make sure the mess hasn’t been shoved into the closet or under the bed!

Getting help with chores shouldn’t be a chore! Taking time to support your child’s numeracy development doesn’t need to be scheduled or planned. These opportunities for learning exist in everyday activities. Chores + learning (really can) = FUN!

For more ideas on how to support numeracy development in the everyday, visit 3,2,1, FUN! Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Brander Gardens school, Edmonton.