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Summer Learning with Games and Math

by Miguel Guhlin
summer slide

“Here, why don’t we find you something fun?” Jessica passed the iPad to her child. Walk into any home, you’ll find children hovering over their gadgets, trying to keep busy. Abandoned by the school system for a short period of time, they wander online. They hope to find something, anything of interest. While it’s doubtful you’ll be able to steer your kids only towards academic pursuits, try. In this blog entry, we’ll explore two fun websites you can get started your child started on.

summer slide math

Website #1 – Toy Theater

Looking for a collection of content area games? Look no further than Toy Theater, whose motto is “Learn * Create * Play.” Toy Theater describes itself in this way:

Toy Theater is an online game website for kids. It is chock full of interactive art games, fun reading games, and cool math games. Designed for kids in grades K-3 classrooms, it offers free online educational games. Teachers from around the world trust them to provide real classroom value.

Some quick points about the site:

  • Math games focus on counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more. Toy Theater also offers graphing games that include line plots, pictographs, and pie charts.
  • Reading games include hidden picture, spelling, and word search using original art. Free online books, including the Beatrix Potter stories, are available.
  • Art games support art, design, and math. Students learn about symmetry, balance, painting, coloring, and scribbling. Activities include holiday celebrations, animal explorations, and learning about famous artists.
  • Brain teasers and online puzzles are also available. Intended to build memory, engage problem solving skills, and develop spatial rotation, they are all fun and free.

Want to introduce your children to classic games you played as a child? Then you’ll be happy to know they include Tic Tac Toe, chess, checkers, Balloon Pop, and others. Most of what Toy Theater offers works on mobile devices. Adobe Flash-friendly activities will work, if you have a desktop computer browser.

Research Alert – Worksheets Are Insufficient to Prevent Summer Slide in Math

A summer math intervention study drew some interesting conclusions. Students used online math programs and worksheets. The researchers saw no improvement as a result. Assigning worksheets without mentoring or guidance won’t correct summer math loss (Harvard Graduate School of Education).

Worksheets not your thing? Maybe some interactive geometry fun (e.g. tangrams and more) will get your children thinking.

Website #2 – Symmetry Artist

Wish you could introduce your children to symmetry before they get into a tough math class? Then the Math Is Fun website is for you as it has a whole page dedicated to geometry and symmetry. Your child will tons of fun drawing in the online tool. I don’t know about you, but this tool alone would provide hours of fun no matter what the age. Your child(ren) can save or print their designs. To increase the learning, why not save those designs and then have them make a narrated slideshow explaining them?

summer slide math

If you explore the  Math Is Fun website , you’ll find many other exciting activities and games.

As summer begins, keep those brains active and thinking. Remember, you won’t want to give kids a device and turn them loose. Instead, sit with them and spend time working through concepts and problem solving. Your relationship will be the better for it. And, as the Harvard-based research above shows, your child(ren) will retain more.

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1 comment

Keeley Barr June 13, 2019 - 10:55 pm

Thanks for these! I dont like workbooks in the summer and usually just encourage reading. This is a fun way to incorporate math and art that I haven’t tried yet!

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