Educational Gift Ideas – Math Edition

2015giftguideThis is the fourth post in the Educational Gifts series – Over the last few weeks I’ve shared ideas for  Language Arts, Science and History/Geography. Today I want to share some fun ideas for Math inspired gifts.

One of my homeschooling goals is to show my children that learning isn’t about “school.” Learning is life. One of the ways I do that is to strew fascinating, fun and educational books, toys, games, etc. in their path.

Math is one of those subjects that you either love or hate, but even if your child dislikes it, there are many fun ways to play with numbers.

Want a fun way to work on math facts? Check out the Educational Insights Mathshark. Even the name sounds fun. It resembles a handheld gaming device, but it’s essentially an electronic flash card set. It also works as a calculator.

There are lots of really fun math manipulatives out there. I love to find manipulatives that have my children learning concepts and being creative without even realizing they are “doing math.”

397560_10202951460843368_6015888735180898877_nOne of my children’s all time favorites are Plastic Pattern Blocks . I’ve bought a few sets over the years and so now we have a huge bucket of them. To their mind, they’re just playing with blocks, making pictures and designs. But they’ve learned shape recognition, fine motor skills, patterns, fractions, geometry, and even art. Combine them with these Learning Resources Pattern Block Design Cards for even more puzzle and design options.

Another great manipulative is Unifix Cubes. These offer another opportunity for open ended learning. They come with an activity book to get you started, but they cover a fairly wide range of mathematical learning.

2014-12-03 14.07.12There are also some really fun math games out there that you can play as a family. One of our favorites is Smath. It’s like scrabble but with numbers and instead of making words, you make math sentences. I like that you can customize it to your child by either focusing on only addition or subtraction, for instance.

Another favorite is Totally Tut Math Operations Game, I mean how can you go wrong with a game that combines Ancient Egypt and math operations?

Prime Climb is a highly rated game about prime numbers where your children will happily practice their multiplication and division skills.

And of course, there’s the classics, like Monopoly, Uno Card Game, Chutes and Ladders and Connect 4 Game.

Are you looking for a toy, rather than a game? You should consider getting a set of WEDGiTS . These are probably one of the toys that are the most played with in our house. We first encountered them when visiting family, and we came home and immediately bought a set. Why? Because these are really fun, not just for the kids, but for everyone. You can create elaborate 3-D sculptures, connecting the blocks in a multitude of ways. While these aren’t specifically “math,” they are great for building fine motor skills, for teaching spacial reasoning, talking about different patterns and shapes, counting, and just so much fun. Like the pattern blocks, you can also purchase a set of Wedgit Starter Cards to give you even more ideas for structure and patterns.

We’re almost finished with this series! Next up I’ll cover art and then the final post will be Cook Family Favorites, so stay tuned!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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