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I hated math after second grade. Math in K through 2nd-grade was full of fun pictures, simple problems, and little challenges that grabbed my interest.  3rd-grade hit and so did purely text-based learning, and my joy of problem-solving DIED! 


If your child is anything like me, math can feel overwhelming, and it can be a struggle to draw connections between solving difficult math problems and how that info will be used in real life. It’s frustrating to teach a child who obviously would rather be doing anything else (even visiting the dentist) than spend time learning math.


My overriding goal is for my kids to fall in love with learning. No matter their strengths and weaknesses I want to encourage them to wrestle with all aspects of education. I do that by not sticking to one way (a math textbook) of communicating concepts but by taking a multi-tool approach.  Imagine teaching your child math concepts through playing a game, reading a story, listening to music, beating levels on an app, mastering brain teasers, or by solving a problem in a real life application?


There is a self-motivation that arises when kids make direct connections between what I am learning today, and if it can be applied directly to my life. Who doesn’t want to practice logical thinking, if they know it can be used to win at a game or to make purchases with their money?


Creating an atmosphere of fun, family relationships and multi-tool approaches allow you, as the parent to foster a love of learning at home.

In this article, we will be talking about:


  1. How to Make Math Fun

  2. How to Make Math Practical

  3. How to Make Math a Treat

  4. How to Make Math Unforgettable

  5. How to Make Math an Adventure

Make Math Fun 


Forget math drills and grab a board game. As your child practices their math skills, your family builds lifelong memories, and connections are drawn between math and FUN! I have seen a significant improvement in my children’s math skills and abilities to think logically after playing these board games!Here are a couple of math board game suggestions to get you started:


Quoridor(pronounced like Corridor) blew me away, with its modern, well made, wooden set. You want to leave this game out as a decorative piece, it’s that impressive. This game is a little on the higher end of the price tag, but WELL WORTH IT (I have already bought it to give away as gifts)! It takes anywhere from ten-twenty minutes to play the game so it is easy to use when you only have a short window of available time.  I have seen a significant improvement in my children’s ability to think logically after playing this game!


    1. Quoridor                              Logic
    2. Math Dice Jr.                       Math
    3. Rush Hour                            Logic
    4. Brain Builders                      Logic
    5. Sum Swamp                         Addition
    6. Money Bags                         Money
    7. Sequence                            Logic
    8. Clumsy Thief                       Addition-Money


Make Math Practical

What seems to be the biggest hang-up with Math curriculum is the question, “How does this apply in real life?”  This issue seems to grow throughout upper elementary years and beyond. Here are some amazing alternatives to traditional textbooks. What I appreciate is that children get to see immediately a direct correlation between math concepts and real-life application.


9. Life of Fred Series

Is an amazing alternative to a traditional math book. Written in story form, it follows the adventures of a 5-year-old prodigy named Fred who shows children how math applies to real life. At the end of every chapter, there are several math questions that pertain to the lesson for your child to answer. My children love this series and beg for more “Fred, please”!   There is an elementary, middle school, high school series, and college.


10. Bedtime Math Series

Bedtime math is a three-part book series aimed at Pre-K- 2nd-grade students. This book is full of funny questions designed to make math fun for kids.  I love that each question only takes about 5 minutes to answer so it’s easy to add to any part of your day. The genius of this series is that it offers three difficulty levels for each problem so the whole family can participate together.  



11. Logic Lollipop Series

I started Logic Lollipop in 1st grade and Pre-K for my kids, and they fell in love with the books. What makes Logic Lollipop unique is that it is picture based book instead of text-based. This makes this series perfect for pre/beginning readers. I appreciated the program because it helped my children develop their critical thinking skills at young ages. There are three books in the series and are targeted to K-2 grade students.  Love it!


12. Logic Safari Series

Is the next series following Logic Lollipop. It is text-based and builds upon the skills in the Logic Lollipop series. I would read aloud the problem aloud and have my children give a verbal response.   There are three books in the series and they are targeted to 2-6 grade students. It is definitely challenging but my children have enjoyed working their way through the problems. These books teach kids to look at life logically and have helped my children understand math in a whole new way.


13. Math Skills Workbooks

If you worry that your child isn’t getting enough “real” practice, grab a workbook. These workbooks are affordable and they offer a great overview of the math skills per grade without a lot of unnecessary busy work.  


Make Math A Treat

Math Seeds is by far our favorite math app. It is so engaging and fun that my kids beg to play “just one more game”.  Math Seeds has really transformed my children’s math aptitude. Using challenges, games, songs, and tests, it teaches core math skills to kids ages 3-9.

We bought the program for my oldest, but my youngest who was in Pre-K at the time, got a hold of it, and after playing for several months ended up skipping K and most of 1st-grade math due to using this program.

Love it! What’s also great is that you can use it for two weeks for free and find out if it’s a good fit for your family!  Win!

14. Math Seeds

Make Math Unforgettable

You know when a song gets stuck in your head and you just CAN’T GET IT OUT?! We have found these CDs to be a great way to memorize the multiplication tables. They are so much so that our kindergartener couldn’t help memorize them without even realizing it (she will thank me later).  Each cd has a fun beat and perfect for taking advantage of time spent running errands in the car (we all have had those last-minute milk runs).


15. Multiplication “rock”

16. Multiplication Songs  


Make Math an Adventure

Who knew math could be so fun? What I love about the power of picture books is that kids connect the warm feelings of snuggling on the couch, experiencing the magic of adventure with math!  These are some of our favorite math picture books.  Bon Voyage! 


Math Books by Cindy Neuschwander 

17. Sir Cumference series

18. Amanda Bean Amazing Dream   


General & Logic Math Books

19. A Math Book You Can Count On – Dan Green                                                                                                                                                                                                                20. The Rabbit Problem – Emily Gravett                                                                                                                                               21. Math-terpieces the Art of Problem Solving – Greg Tang                                                                                                                                                                                                22. The King’ Chessboard  – David Birch


Famous People in Math

23. Counting on Katherine                               Helaine Becker

24. The Boy Who Loved Math                           Deborah Erdos



25. The Grapes of Math                                       Greg Tang

26. If you Were a Plus Sign                                  Trisha Speed Shaskan

27. The Doorbell Rang                                         Pat Hutchins

28. Each Orange Has Eight Slices                          Paul Giganti Jr.

29. Mission Addition                                             Loreen Leedy

30. How Much is a Million?                                    David M. Schwartz

31. Beyond a Million-An Amazing Math Journey      David M. Schwartz

32. Infinity and Me                                                Kate Hosford

33. Place Value                                                     David A. Alder

34. Two of Everything                                            Lily Toy Hong

35.Six Dinner Sid                                                   Igna Moore



36. Subtraction Action                                            Loreen Leady

37. If You Were a Minus Sign                                   Trisha Speed Shaskan


Telling Time

38. The Clock Struck One- A Time Telling Tale         Trudy Harris

39.Bats Around the Clock                                       Kathi Appeit

40. A Second is a Hiccup-A Childs book of Time       Hazel Hutchins

41. Telling Time                                                    Jules Older


Measuring and Shapes

42. Measuring Penny                                             Loreen Leedy

43. The Greedy Triangle                                       Marilyn Burns

44. If You Were a Quadrilateral                             Molly Blaisdell


Multiplying and Dividing

45. Minnie’s Diner- A Multiplying Menu                   Dayle Ann Dodds

46. Divide and Ride                                               Stuart J. Murphy

47. One Hundred Hungry Ants                                Elinor J. Pinczes



48. Lions Share                                                      Matthew McElligott

49.Full House: An Invitation to Fractions                Dayle Ann Dodds

50. Apple Fractions                                                Donna Townsend



 What about you? What are your favorite ways to foster a love of math at home?                      Please feel free to leave me a Comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!


Want to Dive in Deeper? Check out these 2 Bonus Resources:


  1. Give Your Child the World Jamie C. Martin
  2. Read A-Loud Family Sarah Mackenzie
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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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