## Math Games = Learning + Summer Fun

Mathematics is a subject that is absolutely necessary for functioning adequately in society. More than that, mathematics is a subject that should be more enjoyable than it sometimes is. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has identified the appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics as one of the national goals for mathematics education. This goal, coupled with the task of nurturing children’s confidence in their ability to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve real-life problems, is a challenge facing every parent today.

Parents’ attitudes toward mathematics have an impact on children’s attitudes. Children whose parents show an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics around the home will be more likely to develop that enthusiasm themselves. *You Can Help Your Young Child Learn Mathematics*, available in both English and Spanish, helps parents communicate the importance of mathematics to their children and become more involved in their children’s mathematical education. This pamphlet discusses ways that parents can help their children develop good study habits, and it presents activities through which families can make mathematics a part of their daily lives as they travel, cook, garden, and **play games**.

It is essential that, over the summer vacation, parents create active and memorable learning experiences for their children in math. Playing math games with their children is an effective way for parents to fulfill part of their responsibility for developing their children’s abilities to do mathematics, while at the same time having fun together, and encouraging more positive attitudes toward mathematics.

Teachers know that the several months off for summer vacation sees considerable slippage in their students’ math skills. Kids who practice summer math will have an easier time transitioning back to school, while kids who don’t may lose a couple months of learning.

Don’t let this summer be a math-avoidance time. Who says math has to be something your child dreads? It should, instead, be something the child looks forward to and thrives on. The trick is to teach your kids math by combining it with fun activities such as math games. All you need is a deck of cards and/or two dice!