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What to Look for in Maths Activities for Children

Maths activities can help children engage with their education. With fun and suitably challenging worksheets and activities, children become excited to learn. So we’ve put together this article to help you find the best maths resources for children.

There was a time when learning was a monotonous and dull experience — an era when cold, hard facts were taught in a cold, hard way. But luckily for children in education today, we now know they learn best when they’re having fun. 

One of the best ways to make learning fun is with educational activities. These can come in the form of games, worksheets, interactive videos and presentations. Activities can help children engage with lessons and improve learning retention. 

But not all activities are created equal.

When it comes to maths activities for children, some go above and beyond others. So, how do you make sure children are learning with the right resources?

Maths Activities for Children Must Be Engaging

One thing every parent, carer and teacher knows is children get bored easily. It can be a struggle to keep children interested in their studies with traditional methods of learning, such as textbooks and PowerPoint presentations. And if activities aren’t interesting or fun, children won’t engage with these methods of learning either. So the key is to find maths resources that can hold children’s attention and keep them engaged and excited to learn more. 

Using engaging activities to help children’s education means they can benefit from a more laid-back and enjoyable learning experience. High levels of engagement can also open up deeper opportunities for learning — not only will children learn the facts and skills needed to succeed in school, but they’re also more likely to be able to apply knowledge to real-life situations. 

It’s worth noting, though, that engaging means different things for different age groups. For example, our Year 2 maths resources contain lots of visual elements such as bright colours and fun images, because younger children enjoy attractive, quirky visuals. Our maths resources for children in Year 6 still contain visual elements, but you’ll also find more discourse, and more complex designs, tables and challenges. This is because older pupils are more likely to seek out more complex experiences — potentially with sleeker designs and narrative flows. 

One of the best ways to see if activities are engaging enough is to let children try them out. If they engage with challenges, you’re on to a winner. But if they get bored after a few minutes, it’s not the right game for them. 

Maths Activities Should Provide a Suitable Challenge

While worksheets and activities need to be fun and engaging, their enjoyable aspects shouldn’t be detrimental to actual learning. Maths challenges for children need to have an educational benefit. 

So when looking for maths resources for children, check that they offer a suitable challenge. Puzzles, problems and equations should be targeted at specific age groups and should help solidify, as well as improve, mathematical knowledge. Making sure activities offer the right level of difficulty can also help you capture children’s attention. Children usually welcome a challenge — after all, what fun is an activity that’s too easy? 

Match Learning Styles to Different Types of Maths Resources

Not all children have the same learning style, so it’s important to consider the different types of learners when choosing maths activities for a group of children. 

Interactive maths videos can be perfect for engaging auditory and visual learners. Many maths videos will contain challenging games and songs that can help children remember lessons. Computer games are also a good choice for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. 

However, children who learn best when reading and writing might prefer challenges in the form of worksheets. Worksheets can also be suitable for visual learners if they include lots of visual elements. 

Make Sure Activities Are Easy to Understand

It’s one thing to make sure educational resources challenge children — it’s another to have them pulling their hair out over impossible instructions. Nothing detracts from learning more than frustration

If a child can’t understand how they are supposed to complete activities, they’ll struggle to learn anything from the experience. Challenging maths problems are an important part of learning, but the challenge shouldn’t occur because children don’t know what to do. The challenge should arise because it tests children’s mathematical knowledge. 

Make sure any maths activities your children use as a learning tool are easy to understand and they’ll be rewarded with a richer and more enjoyable experience. 

If you’re looking for maths activities for children that are challenging and engaging, join Master the Curriculum and gain access to fun maths resources designed by teachers, for teachers. With counting games, maths worksheets, teaching slides and interactive videos, our resources can help children master a range of mathematical subjects, from number and place value to multiplication, algebra and geometry.

How Interactive Maths Activities Aid Development

Interactive maths activities can be a valuable learning resource. They can help children engage with education and support a greater degree of knowledge absorption. Learn more about the benefits of interactive maths activities in this article. 

Whether you’re a parent, carer, or teacher, you might be thinking about using interactive maths activities to enhance the education of children in your care. Interactive maths activities such as maths videos, teaching slides, worksheets and games can get children excited about learning. Interactive learning resources can also help lessons sink into young minds, improving learning retention. 

But before you choose activities to use for home learning or to complement lesson plans, you probably want to make sure activities are worthwhile, especially if they come at a cost. While we offer a free membership that includes access to some useful resources, our paid membership options unlock even more learning materials suitable for different age ranges. So is it worth paying out for interactive maths activities?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of interactive maths activities, and how they can aid development.  

Maths Activities Help Children Engage with Education

At Master the Curriculum, we believe fun and education go hand in hand. Just like the rest of us, children need a balance between work and play, and enjoyable learning resources can engage children in education by allowing them to have fun and learn at the same time. Interactive maths activities are designed to be as enjoyable as possible, so they’re perfect for engaging children in lessons. 

When using traditional methods of learning, such as textbooks and presentations, children can drift off into their imagination. But interactive activities capture children’s attention — it’s not so easy for them to get lost in daydreams as they’ll need to focus if they’re going to progress, succeed at challenges and complete activities. As a result, they’ll be more engaged in the lessons taught with interactive maths activities. 

Interactive Maths Activities Personalise the Learning Experience

Using interactive maths activities, you can provide an almost tailor-made and personalised learning experience for children. By adjusting difficulty levels and hand-picking resources that meet individual pupils’ interests, you can tailor the experience to children’s personal goals and learning targets. 

Tailoring activities can be hugely beneficial to children’s development — especially when personalised activities are used alongside whole-class lesson plans. School lessons are designed to meet the needs of all pupils in the classroom, but naturally, this means individual needs can be missed. But with resources chosen specifically for individual children, pupils can get the personalised learning experience they need to better understand lessons.

So for example, teachers may give different pupils different maths worksheets depending on their abilities. This can help them consolidate their strengths and improve their areas of weakness. 

Maths Activities Support and Boost Cognitive Development

Scientists have suggested interactivity can be hugely beneficial to learning, accelerating cognitive development and helping children take in and retain more information. Research suggests interactive learning resources allow children to explore and think about their own cognitive strategies and how they organise information.  

The key here is that pupils are effectively given more control over how they absorb the information. By engaging in interactive learning, children are encouraged to develop their learning processes and strategies by actively participating in the experience. The result is a boost in cognitive development and an enhanced learning environment.

Interactive Maths Resources Engage Different Types of Learners

Several different learning styles can affect how children learn best. It is thought that most people are visual or auditory learners, meaning they learn best when using resources with visual elements such as pictures, diagrams, or videos, or when learning with sound and musical resources. 

Different types of interactive maths activities can be suitable for different kinds of learners. 

For example, maths videos and games can include visual and audio elements. Interactive activities can also engage kinesthetic and verbal learners by encouraging movement and asking children to speak out or write down answers. By introducing children to interactive learning tools, you can ensure that — regardless of their learning style — they receive an enriching educational experience.

If you’re looking for maths activities, why not sign up to Master the Curriculum to access free maths resources created by teachers? We have high-quality learning resources for different year groups, and we design every resource to be fun and engaging to help children achieve maths mastery.

Everything Parents Need to Know about Key Stage 1 Maths

As your child moves from reception to year one, they plunge into the wonderful world of Key Stage 1 — otherwise known as KS1, a crucial early stage of education. This stage is where children’s educational development really begins as their cognitive abilities are explored, developed and put to the test. 

Over the coming months and years, your child will face the struggles, trials and rewards of Key Stage 1 in all subject matter, from English to geography, science to art. Today, though, we’re looking at one particular subject (and our personal favourite): maths. So, what exactly is Key Stage 1 maths, and how can you support your children’s learning and development throughout this stage?

What Is Key Stage 1 Maths?

A Key Stage is a period within a child’s education when they are taught mandatory subjects, based on a national curriculum established by the state. All students within the stage are taught the same information, although it may be imparted through different techniques and lesson plans. The concept is the same throughout the UK; key stages allow every child to gain the same knowledge. 

Key Stage 1 is the first educational stage, starting in year one and lasting two years, teaching children aged five to seven. In total, there are four key stages reaching up to the age of 17. 

Key Stage 1 maths simply refers to all maths education involved in the first Key Stage. In essence, it’s everything the government deems necessary a child between the ages of five to seven should learn about maths. 

What Subjects Are Covered in Key Stage 1 Maths?

As part of the first educational key stage, the Key Stage 1 maths curriculum includes basic mathematical concepts such as counting and a few of the easier times tables. 

Most children will have come across mathematical challenges even before they enter Year 1, but Key Stage 1 is the first time they will encounter it as part of an official curriculum. As a result, KS1 maths starts with the basics to ensure everyone is on the same page and all children have the foundation knowledge to support further learning. This is what you can expect your child to cover in Key Stage 1 maths:

  • Numbers 0 to 100
  • Counting up to 100 
  • Number patterns
  • Odd and even numbers
  • Times tables — 2, 5 and 10
  • Adding and subtracting
  • Measuring and weighing
  • Angles
  • Basic mathematical symbols
  • Graphs
  • Reading an analogue clock
  • Finding a quarter, a third, a half and doubling
  • Simple mental maths
  • Shapes — both 2D and 3D
  • Lines of symmetry

What Are the Key Stage 1 Tests?

At the moment, at the end of Key Stage 1, teachers formally assess children’s performance using teacher assessment frameworks to gauge individual children’s academic progress. The current grading system determines how children’s academic knowledge and progress compares with the national average. 

When you think of school exams and SATs, you probably think of formal exam halls, strict regulations and invigilators. However, the current KS1 SATs are held in a relaxed environment, in children’s usual school classroom, to make sure they are as comfortable as possible and to prevent exam stress and anxiety. While most tests occur in May, the papers are spread out and worked into everyday classroom lessons, so children might not even realise they’re being tested.

Key Stage 1 maths tests include two papers: one for arithmetic and one for mathematical reasoning. Children can complete these papers at their own pace (within reason). There’s no strict time limit, but most children spend around 15 minutes on Paper One and just over half an hour on Paper Two. The arithmetic paper (Paper One) is worth 15 marks and the mathematical reasoning paper (Paper Two) is worth 35 marks. 

KS1 test results help ensure standards of teaching and check children are meeting expected standards of academic progress, so you won’t usually be told your child’s KS1 SAT results. However, you can request them, and your child’s teacher will let you know whether or not your child is performing to expected standards.

However, it’s worth noting that KS1 SATs will be scrapped from September 2020, and replaced with baseline assessments for Reception pupils. So if your child hasn’t yet entered KS1, they won’t need to sit these papers, as they’ll be assessed in Reception instead. 

How You Can Help Your Child Succeed in Key Stage 1 Maths

Every child is different when it comes to academic ability, so it’s important to make sure your child gets the support they need throughout KS1. Key stage 1 is your child’s first taste of formal education, so they may start to find some subjects difficult. 

In KS1 maths, children are taught different mathematical concepts and they may struggle to grasp certain types of maths challenges. For example, a child may excel at multiplication and subtraction but struggle when it comes to shapes and graphs. But for children to develop and advance their education, they need to come to grips with all parts of the curriculum. 

You can support your child’s learning by exploring key stage 1 maths resources for Year 1 or Year 2 maths materials, depending on your child’s age. Encouraging children to use a variety of learning resources is the perfect way to help them engage in extra-curricular education. From worksheets to games and maths videos, there are a variety of learning materials that can make education fun.

You can also discuss any issues with teachers and help your child get the support they need at school. You can ensure they do their homework and teach them about the importance of paying attention while in the classroom.

Are you looking to support your child’s Key Stage 1 maths education? At Master the Curriculum, we have a diverse library of KS1 maths resources to help pupils learn, discover and grow. With hundreds of lessons and games available, it doesn’t matter what part of the curriculum they need to study. We’ve got it all covered. Sign up to access KS1 maths resources today.

Get Your Child Excited for School with Interactive Maths Activities

Getting young children excited about going to school can be a difficult task, but there is a way: interactive maths activities! Find out how certain activities can make a difference to a child’s interest in schooling.

It isn’t always easy to motivate children, especially when it comes to education. Some children just aren’t fond of the learning experience. School is another chore — just like brushing their teeth — and we all know how easy it is to get them to do that!

But what if there was a way to get kids more excited for school? To help them become more engaged with their education?

At Master the Curriculum, we believe there is. 

Interactive maths activities have a number of benefits, including helping pupils get excited about learning. Don’t believe us? Here’s how introducing fun maths activities at home and school can enhance a child’s learning experience. 

Use Maths Games to Prove Learning Can Be Fun

Gone are the days when education and fun were opposites. Education can be anything you need it to be and fun is certainly not off-limits. Maths activities can combine education and enjoyment, offering the perfect balance of work and play.

Most of today’s children don’t find traditional learning materials like books and presentations particularly interesting. But fun maths resources such as interactive maths videos can get children excited to learn. 

Maths activities can take the form of fun worksheets, interactive maths videos, and online games, and they can combine essential learning with enjoyment. Using colourful visuals and fun storytelling, maths activities can make a genuine difference to a child’s perception of what it really means to learn.

If you can find a way of demonstrating to a child that learning can be an enjoyable experience, you can help them get excited about learning, too. 

Games Can Give Children the Confidence They Need to Succeed

Low self-esteem can seriously affect a child’s ability to learn and take pleasure in activities. If children feel they aren’t good enough at something, or not capable of doing something, they may not engage with that activity at all. If something like education is too challenging or frustrating, it breeds contempt, not enjoyment. And if children don’t engage with lessons, they may fall behind. 

But this is where maths activities can make a huge difference. Studies have shown that building confidence in a child’s abilities is key to getting them motivated and helping them achieve success in an educational environment. Interactive maths activities can help develop that confidence. Resources can be used to encourage active learning, bolster mathematical knowledge and when children complete activities, they’ll receive the reassurance they need to boost their confidence in their abilities. 

Maths Games Can Be Played Anywhere

There are many types of maths activities that can be completed both in school and at home, by individual children or groups of classmates or friends. So with activities that don’t require a classroom, or a present teacher, children can tackle maths challenges when and where it suits them best. 

Teachers may include games and activities in classroom lessons or offer worksheets to children who finish tasks quickly, but children could also complete some activities in their school breaks or at home.

For children who struggle to engage in school lessons, it may be a good idea to encourage completing maths activities outside of school hours, without any classmates present. This way, they can better engage with activities and the lessons behind them without any social pressure or distractions. They can go over lessons in a fun and engaging way and at their own pace. And enjoyable activities won’t feel like homework! They might then be able to absorb more information and keep ahead of the curve.

Children Enjoy Competitive Maths Games 

Many children love healthy competition and lots of group maths activities will include a competitive element. Children may race to complete games, puzzles or worksheets, or carry out activities alongside each other.

When children can compete with their friends, they’re more likely to want to learn and progress. They may spend longer working on maths activities and may work harder to develop their understanding of maths problems. 

Whether you’re a parent looking to get your child excited for school, or a teacher hoping to use maths activities to enhance lesson plans, become a member of Master the Curriculum.  Gain access to lots of colourful, enjoyable, yet informative and educational resources that children love to learn with. All of our resources are created by passionate teachers who want to make learning as fun as possible.

How to Homeschool Your Children during the Coronavirus Crisis

The spread of the coronavirus has caused schools in the UK to close indefinitely to most pupils. While vulnerable children and children of key workers such as NHS staff can still attend school, most children will need to stay home until further notice. So the chances are, you’re likely to have your children at home with you for the coming weeks, or possibly even months. But that doesn’t mean they have to fall behind on their education. There are plenty of ways to help your children learn at home and engage with educational materials. 

We know that as parents, you have a lot on your plate and helping your children continue learning can feel like a daunting task, especially if your hands are already full with working from home, looking after little ones or managing your household. But don’t panic, you can still help your children stay on top of their education without having to become a full-time teacher. 

In this article, you’ll find homeschooling advice from our team of teachers, and learning resources you can use to encourage children not to forget about their education. By implementing this advice, you can fit home education around your work schedule, so children can keep learning while you keep earning. 

What You Need to Know About Homeschooling During the Coronavirus Crisis

Homeschooling during the pandemic is a little different to regular homeschooling. The spread of the novel coronavirus means millions of children no longer have access to regular education, but that doesn’t mean parents and carers are expected to drop everything to become homeschooling experts. 

You’re Not Expected to Become a Full-Time Teacher 

No one is expecting you to dedicate all of your time to homeschooling your children. And no one is expecting you to suddenly become a perfect teacher. 

These really are unprecedented times, so coronavirus homeschooling should be about doing what you can when you can. Whether you have several hours a day, or just a few hours a week, every little helps when it comes to helping children learn. By making sure children at least remain familiar with the national curriculum for their year group, you’ll make it easier for them to return to school and achieve academic success whenever schools reopen. 

You can also give children learning resources to complete independently. These resources are a great way to keep children engaged with education, and you can work alongside them or carry out household activities while they complete learning activities. You can find more information about learning resources in the “Homeschooling Tips” section below. 

Homeschool Schedules Don’t Have to Follow the School Schedule 

Creating a homeschooling schedule can give your children a much-needed routine in this time of uncertainty. However, your schedule for at-home learning doesn’t have to follow the school schedule. 

It may not be practical for children to spend seven hours learning at home — you may not be able to dedicate that much time to homeschooling, and your children may not be able to focus for that long at home. For children not used to home learning, it can be difficult to concentrate on completing lessons and learning activities in an environment they usually associate with playtime or downtime. 

Remember Children May Be Feeling Stressed or Upset 

The Coronavirus crisis is stressful for all of us, including children. The uncertainty of the pandemic, the disruption to their usual routine, and social distancing can cause children to become stressed and upset. They may worry about what’s happening, and they may feel anxious not knowing when they can get back to school to continue learning and seeing their friends. 

So try not to be too hard on children when it comes to homeschooling, and remember to check in on how they’re feeling. It’s a good idea to talk to them about the coronavirus, and explain why schools are shutting down. Keeping them informed can also prevent them from becoming overly frustrated about self-isolating, as they’ll understand why it’s important.

Homeschooling Tips for the Coronavirus Quarantine 

It can be difficult to know where to start when helping your children continue learning at home, so here are some top tips to help you create an effective homeschooling routine for your children. 

Create a ‘Learning Zone’

Children can struggle to focus on their education when surrounded by their toys, games or spaces they usually associate with relaxing and downtime. So it’s a good idea to create a dedicated learning zone where children will complete educational activities, or receive lessons. 

Ideally, they will need somewhere they can sit comfortably and write, draw or use a laptop to attend virtual lessons. This could be a desk set up with paper, notebooks, pencils and pens. Or, if you don’t have a desk, children could use the dining table as their home learning space. 

homeschooling tips during quarantine

With a separate space dedicated to home education, children can have a clear boundary between learning and downtime. This can improve their focus, and help them fully relax when the school books and learning resources are put away for the day. 

Make a Home Learning Schedule 

Creating a home learning schedule is hugely important as it can give children the routine they’re used to during school terms. Schedules should include how long children will spend learning each day and what subjects they’ll be focusing on. Once you’ve created a home learning schedule, print it out or write it up so children can see what to expect from the days ahead. Set schedules can also reduce children’s anxiety and uncertainty about the challenging times ahead. 

We’ve already mentioned that your home learning schedule doesn’t have to be the same as children’s school schedules, but it’s a good idea to stick to a learning timetable that covers five days a week. Even if children spend just a little time each day learning, this can help them stay engaged in education, and for little ones, this can further cognitive development. And at the same time, making sure children still have a weekend is also important. 

Check School Websites

Many schools are offering learning resources or online lessons so children can keep learning from home. So before you jump straight into homeschooling, check your children’s school websites and learning portals. If schools offer home learning resources, virtual lessons and schedule ideas, this can take a lot of the pressure off of you. 

Use Engaging Learning Resources

By using learning resources and activities, you won’t need to actively teach your children. Instead, children can complete activities while you work or carry out household activities. All you need to do is supervise them. 

Activities and resources such as worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, educational games, and interactive videos, can be enjoyable and educational. They can help children keep up to date with the national curriculum, keep them entertained, and stop them from worrying about current events. 

You might be able to find learning resources on your children’s school websites, but if not, there are plenty of resources you can download online. For example, at Master the Curriculum, we offer a range of free primary maths resources you can download in an instant. Whilst schools are closed, we are offering a range of premium resources for free. These can be found in our mixed objectives category where our maths activities can be found. They cover all of the objectives for the maths curriculum for Years 1 – 6 and include answers for easy marking. Our resources are categorised by year group, so you’ll find age-appropriate resources for children aged five to eleven. 

Don’t Forget to Have Fun 

If we know children, we suspect that many will be thinking of Coronavirus school closures as an extra-long summer break. They’ll be expecting to wave goodbye to education for the foreseeable future and spend the self-isolation period playing with toys or games. 

So if you’re going to successfully get your children to include home learning in their days off school, it’s important to make education fun. With enjoyable learning activities, children are more likely to engage in home learning, and partake willingly! And watching your children have fun while learning can make the process of homeschooling more enjoyable for you too. 

Younger children may also view this as an exciting period during which they get to have fun with you. And there’s no reason why homeschooling can’t be an enjoyable, bonding activity. 

learning maths with parents

This time is stressful for us all, and making education engaging and entertaining can help children relax and focus on learning, rather than unfolding events and self-isolation. 

Take a look at Facebook Pages such as Working Without Worksheets, where there are many practical ideas posted linked to learning. You can also join the linked group where a lot of discussion takes place around practical learning and you can also post your own questions and what you have been doing at home. 

Remember Downtime is Important Too 

While education is important, remember children need downtime just like the rest of us. Allowing your children a break from learning at the weekends and after home lessons or learning activities gives them a chance to relax, play and process information. Playtime is also hugely important when it comes to developing children’s imagination

Encourage Children to Keep in Touch with Friends 

Children in quarantine will naturally miss their friends and classmates, and social interaction is a huge part of education and development. While playdates and meetups aren’t a possibility during the Coronavirus quarantine, encouraging children to keep in touch with their friends using technology can keep their spirits up and help younger children continue developing social skills. 

Children can chat using video chat software such as Skype or FaceTime, messaging apps, or good old fashioned walkie talkies. They can also keep in contact by playing against each other on video games, or even better, online educational games.  

Consider Active Games for the Whole Family 

With children cooped up inside, they’re going to get restless, so think about ways to get creative and active with home education. You can come up with your own learning activities to get your children moving or look online for active educational activities. Getting the whole family involved in active learning games can get children excited to participate. 

You could stage a quiz with a twist. For example, ask questions relating to children’s school syllabus, but before children can answer, they have to complete 10 star jumps. This activity is a good one for families with more than one child, as children can race to complete an exercise and give their answer. 

Alphabet yoga is another fun activity for younger children. You could get your little ones to get into a pose resembling a letter. Or they could strike a pose resembling an object that begins with a certain letter from the alphabet — for example, you shout “A” and they pretend to be an aeroplane!

homeschooling maths learning

If you don’t have time to organise an active activity yourself, interactive videos can get children up and moving. You can find a range of interactive maths videos for primary school children on our YouTube channel. 

Master the Curriculum provides primary school maths learning resources created by teachers. We offer worksheets, interactive maths videos, teaching slides and vocabulary cards. All of our resources are designed to be enjoyable and suitable for different year groups and abilities. And to help parents keep on top of their children’s education during the Coronavirus school closures, we’re offering many of our resources for free. Just create a free account and start downloading valuable learning resources for your children. You can also join our Facebook group for updates on free resources.