To solve basic math operations — and more complicated ones down the road — kids need problem-solving skills and number sense. Number sense is the ability to understand what numbers mean, how they relate to one another and how they can be used in real-world situations. Because six-year-olds can count to higher numbers, they can also be challenged to work on higher number operations. School-aged children focus on addition and subtraction at first, and then eventually reach multiplication (in the form of skip counting) and division (in the form of equal shares).
Math Developing Your Six-Year-Old's Problem-Solving Skills
Encourage your child's problem-solving skills:
How Sharing Teaches Division
At this age, children can start to do basic division. Give your child 12 small crackers (or another snack) and have him share the pile equally between two people — and then three people. He may come up with his own method of distributing the food, so watch to see what he does. Ask him to explain his thought process.
Find the Blob!
Measuring can be fun when it includes a gooey blob! Together with your child, follow a recipe to make the blob and then divide the blob into equal parts to play a seek and find game.Do This Activity
Create Subtraction Stories
At this age, your child is starting to learn the symbols for subtraction, addition and equal. Create stories about subtraction with your child. You might want to model the concept first, with a story like this: "Once there were five apples who lived together on a tree branch. Then two fell down, and only three were left!" Have fun drawing a picture of the story and then adding the number sentence at the bottom — in this case, 5 - 2 = 3.
Wild Kratts Creature Math
Creature Math helps children learn valuable ecology and science concepts while practicing addition and subtraction as they create their very own animal habitat, filled with cool creature pals!Play This Game
Practice Adding with Dominos
Playing with dominos is a great way to have your child practice subitizing and adding at the same time! Subitizing is the ability to look at a group of objects and instantly know how many there are. Have your child pick a domino and then ask for the sum of the two sides — in other words, ask her to add the two sides together. If one side has three dots and one side has five, she would say, 3 + 5 = 8." Then flip the domino around, creating the number sentence 5 + 3, instead. It still equals 8! Before long, your child will discover the commutative property of addition — that no matter what order the two numbers are in, they still add up to the same total.
Down The Tubes
The Odd Squad needs help fixing their transportation tubes. Your child can practice math concepts including measurement, addition and spatial reasoning skills while helping the Odd Squad make the needed repairs.Play This Game
Count on Your Fingers
This is a great age to introduce your child to using her fingers to figure out math problems. Pick a number between one and ten. Then ask your child how many more she would need to get to ten. Encourage her to use her fingers to hold up the initial number, then lift up fingers and count until she gets to ten.
Playing this card game can help your child develop early math skills by counting to 10 and knowing what is more or less than 10.Do This Activity
Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Peg + Cat
Through engaging stories and comedy, Peg + Cat encourages your child to see math as exciting, accessible, and fun. The show teaches measurement, shapes and patterns, and problem-solving skills that children can use in their everyday lives.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Six-Year-Old
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Build a Bridge
Building simple structures is a great way to introduce your child to engineering! Using just a few things around your home, you can design bridges with your child and experiment with what they will hold.
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Peg + Cat Tree Problem
Peg and Cat's spirited and playful antics engage children in learning math concepts while having an awesome time! This app offers a series of games designed to help your child practice creative problem-solving and height comparison skills.
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Virtual Coin Toss
Using the Cybersquad's virtual coin toss, your child can learn about probability by flipping a coin 100, 1000, or even 10,000 times to see how many times a coin will land on heads or tails.
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Splashing in the Lake
Your child will learn about using comparative vocabulary to describe least, less, more, and most, by seeing that smaller animals that jump in the water splash least, whereas those that are bigger splash most.