Focus on Math Activities While You Wait

Waiting at the doctors office

Math Activities While You Wait

There are many times in life that you may find yourself in a situation where you are waiting with your children like at the airport for a flight, at the doctor’s office, or while you are waiting for food at a restaurant.  This weekend, while waiting in an airport, I saw many parents handing children their smartphones or tablets with videos children had watched many times to occupy this time.  Some were searching for age appropriate, interesting activities to engage the children. There are some ways to unplug, reconnect, and practice math skills during these waiting times.  Check back over the next few days for more math activities you can play with your children while you are waiting.

Math Activities While you Wait – With No Materials

A simple game that requires no supplies is counting objects.  You look in your surroundings and try to count objects from 1 to 50.  For example, in the doctor’s waiting room there may be 1 television, 2 phones, 3 lamps, and so on.  You take turns with your children going back and fourth counting the items.

Another math activity that requires no supplies is looking around your surroundings to find patterns, sequences, or shapes in your environment.  This game helps your child to recognize math within their environment.  You may see a pattern on the fabric of a chair, shapes in the artwork on a wall, or a sequence of squares on the tile floor.

A great math activity for older children while you wait is called Buzz.  This is a counting game where the object is to not say any number with 3 in it.  Each person takes a turn counting going back and forth and then anytime you come to a number with a three in it you say “buzz” instead of that number.  If you accidentally say the number, you lose, and the game starts over again.  If there are more than 2 players, you can have the players sit out until a final winner is declared.  To make it more complex, you can up the ante by saying buzz when numbers are multiples of 3.

What other math activities can you think of that you can play that require no materials?

Look back over the week to check out math activities with coins, and games that require a few materials that you can play while you are waiting.

Photo by j&mgorman

Check Smart Tutor Elementary Math Curriculum and Free Math Games

Leave a Reply