Math Developing Your Eight-Year-Old's Problem-Solving Skills

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. Eight-year-olds are working on adding and subtracting with more sophisticated strategies, like "counting on" from the higher number for addition, or base-10 facts to compose or decompose numbers. Two-digit addition and subtraction is being explored too.

Encourage your child's problem-solving skills:

A Simple Subtraction Game

This easy game can help your child memorize her subtraction math facts by figuring out "What's Hiding?" Start with 20 pennies (or other counters, like beans or buttons). Have your child cover her eyes and take a certain number away, hiding them out of sight. When your child figures out how many were taken away, write it down as a math fact (e.g., 20 - 7 = 13). Take turns hiding objects to practice more math facts.

The Electric Company Party Game

HEY YOU GUYYYYYS! Marcus and Jessica are stuck on Prankster Planet and need your help to get back to Earth! Play this fast-paced board game filled with physical challenges, silly brainstorms, and math questions.

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Introduce Fractions at Mealtime

While cutting up food to share, ask your child to help. For example, when cutting a pizza, ask how it should be divided into halves — two pieces. Then ask how it should be divided into fourths — four pieces. Have her figure out how to cut it into eight equal slices, and then point how four out of eight slices is the same as half of the pizza.

Creature Duty

Odd Squad agents take care of all sorts of creatures. Using math skills such as color and shape matching, fair shares and fractions, your child can help feed and care for these adorable creatures.

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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. 

The Case of the Trophy Room Bandit

Using a number line and subtraction skills, your child can figure out which items are missing in a mystery object game.

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Create a Bowling Game at Home

Help your child practice adding multiple numbers with a DIY bowling game. Use 10 empty soda cans, toilet paper rolls, or water bottles to create bowling pins. Label them 1 through 10. Using a small ball, have your child try to knock down the pins from a distance. To keep score, have your child add up the numbers knocked down. The person with the higher score wins the game!

Escape from Greasy World

There is trouble in Greasy World and Professor Fizzy needs help. As your child helps to save the day, she will learn to rotate puzzle pieces to fit them together to make a picture, sort objects based on multiple attributes, and order objects by height and length.

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Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Odd Squad

Odd Squad focuses on a kid-run agency that saves the day whenever something unusual happens. Emphasizing problem solving, teamwork and perseverance in every strange and hilarious new assignment, agents use math to investigate weird problems -- and your child can help!

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Eight-Year-Old

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