What is Family Math?
Family Math refers to activities that happen within the context of family relationships, the community, and everyday life that support young children and families to strengthen their math awareness, understanding and confidence. Our vision is to create a family math community where all our children engage in vibrant and plentiful culturally responsive math learning opportunities preparing them for success in school, career, and life.
Engaging Families to Promote Young Children’s Math Learning and Mastery Motivation
YM’s Family Math program has designed, developed, tested, and disseminated a series of complementary classroom- and home-based mathematical learning activities that promote young children’s mathematical thinking and mastery motivation, with a focus on children from low-income families. We utilized the infrastructure of our classroom-based mathematics intervention targeting young children, Games for Young Mathematicians, as the foundation for the classroom component of this project’s intervention. The at-home mathematics learning activities we have created are designed to complement, and build on, the concepts covered in the YM classroom games. Another important part of our program is to promote positive attitudes toward math learning.
Providing all families with ways to engage in early math activities with their children may help to address inequities in children’s school readiness experiences, so that all children can be set onto a path of greater school success. Check out: Advancing Equity: Playful Ways to Extend Math Learning at Home, Jessica Mercer Young & Kristen E Reed, Dec 2018/Jan2019.
What’s Playing (with Parents) Got to do with Children’s Math Learning?
What is the most important thing young children need to know in order to have long-term academic success? It turns out, its early math skills! Yet, too many children start kindergarten behind in math. Why is this?
Often families and caregivers are unsure of the best ways to promote children’s early math skills. We have developed a Family Math program that aims to promote family math practices across schools, homes, and communities, to ensure that all young children see themselves as mathematics learners.
How do we do this? Through fun math games and math mini-books for families!
- Preschoolers love games. Math games engage children in problem solving and puzzling, and they offer children opportunities to learn math strategies as they play.
- Families have fun. Through books and games, families have an easy way to introduce and talk about math with their preschoolers.
- Preschoolers learn math at home and school.
This page features many fun games which include “at home” game directions, many of which have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.
Dot Card Games have cards you can print or make yourself with directions for many different variations!
How Many Are Hiding? Games
Pattern Block Puzzles
Number Path Games
Shape Card Games
Across different set of early math skills each of our printable mini-books with a fun activity to try at the end of each one!
We also have printable growth mindset books to support families in encouraging a positive attitude toward math and learning!
We also have compiled a list of Math picture books for talking about math with young children. The books cover different math content areas such as number sense, patterns, and shapes with an overview of the book and ways to encourage more math fun!
This resource encourages reading and math with fun picture books about patterns. Patterns have a sequence that repeats in a predictable manner. Through sounds, words and pictures, these books illustrate two types of patterns. Help your preschooler understand how to identify, label, and describe patterns using these books! Keep the fun going with our Patterns placemat.
Hi Ho Cherry-O
Chutes and Ladders
Classic Card Games
Top It (War)
Family Math Resources:
- Check out these fun, easy ways to play with math at home. Teachers, this can go home as a “Message in a Backpack”! Also available in Spanish!
- Maneras divertidas y faciles de jugar con la matematica en casa (Spanish version of Message in a Backpack “Mensaje en la Mochila”)
- 5 Reasons Why Playing Games Helps Children Learn Math (English and Spanish)
- 5 Ways to Help Young Children Love Math (English)/ 5 Maneras de ayudar a los niños pequeños a disfrutar las Matemáticas (Spanish)
- Math Activity Ideas: check out this list of easy to do Math activity texts (English and Spanish)
- Pattern Placemat (prints best as 11 inch x 17 inch paper) in English and Spanish
- Family math event planning tool (for teachers)