How to Use Maths Activities to Motivate Children

Is motivation an issue when trying to get your child to engage with their learning experience? Maths activities could be the answer you are looking for.

Parents and teachers will know motivating a child to learn can be difficult. As adults, it’s easy to appreciate just how important and beneficial the maths education we received was. But, as a child, learning maths in school and outside the classroom just seems to be a distraction; something that takes time and attention away from all the things they’d rather be doing, like playing games. 

But getting children to engage in learning is hugely important for their academic development. Children need to be motivated in the classroom and during at-home learning — maths education beyond the classroom is essential for academic success. You cannot rely on a schooling environment to do all the work. 

But then this leaves us with a conundrum. When a child is at home, not in an environment created for learning, how do you actively motivate them to engage in more learning activities when they’ve got TVs, video games, toys and all the other, more fun distractions? 

For many children, fun educational resources are the key to motivation. Maths activities can make learning enjoyable and get children excited to develop their knowledge. Maths activities can be used by teachers in the classroom, and by parents at home to motivate children and encourage them to embrace education with open arms, 

Take Advantage of the Primary Drivers of Child Psychology  

What motivates children varies from child to child, but when broken down into general terms, three major factors can influence a child’s drive to do something. You can take advantage of these factors and use them to get children more engaged and involved in the learning experience. But what exactly are these motivators?

  • Attention and Interaction: Children crave attention and interaction with parents and authority figures. By completing maths activities with children, you can offer the attention and interaction they need. The promise that you’ll join them in learning and complete educational activities with them can be a huge motivator. 
  • Reward and Praise: Children love praise and it has been shown that recognition and reward can have a powerful effect on a child’s willingness to learn. And maths activities can give children the recognition and praise they need to feel motivated — parents or teachers can give feedback in real-time while children complete activities such as worksheets.


  • Children Like What They Are Good At: Like most people, children like to do things they are good at and aren’t so keen on things they struggle with. This can mean — for children who struggle with maths — getting motivated to do it can be hard. Using maths activities, children can develop their knowledge and become confident in their abilities. As a result, they may achieve better academic results and become more motivated to engage with the subject. 


Give Children the Freedom to Learn When and How They like With Maths Worksheets

Many children love learning because they’re naturally curious. They enjoy discovery and wonder at the smallest new details. If used correctly, learning can harness this curiosity and do a world of good. 

One of the best ways to let children unleash their curiosity and learn for themselves is to offer them some freedom when it comes to how they learn. A child will find it hard to be motivated by their pure desire for discovery when they are told exactly what they are going to discover.

Maths worksheets are the perfect activity for offering children freedom over their learning schedule. They can be completed anywhere, so children can decide when to practise their maths skills and what pace they want to take. With worksheets, children can indulge their curiosity and desire to learn when and where it suits them. 

Freedom is a powerful motivator. Allow your child to be the master of their education and their desire to seek new information will do the rest. 

Just Have Fun

You can think of all the motivators backed by science and studies that you want, but at the end of the day, what really motivates a child? Having fun.

Children — especially younger children — aren’t concerned with the bigger picture; they just like to enjoy the moment. Why do boring old maths homework when you can ride a bike or play a video game?

Maths activities bring with them an enjoyment factor that other forms of education can’t. 

Entertaining maths activities utilise everything you’d expect from children’s activities, in combination with strong education techniques. The result is a fun learning experience. Your child will enjoy completing the activities, and as a result, become motivated to get involved and engage with education.

Are you looking for fun, engaging maths activities that will motivate children? At Master the Curriculum, we’ve got plenty of exciting educational resources just waiting to be enjoyed. Aimed at children aged 5-13, of varying ability levels, there is something for everyone. Sign up for free access to our educational resources created by teachers.

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