# Keep Your Child’s Math Skills Sharp All Summer Long

Originally published on the New York Family website

No more pencils, no more books… but you can still help your kids flex their math muscles this summer.

Summer is a long stretch of time without regular academic instruction. Math, in particular, is an area that many students tend to avoid during this season. Yet research indicates that students regress in math more than any other subject during the summer break.

Practicing math over the summer does not need to be restricted to workbooks and worksheets. Rather than watching your child’s math skills diminish, try the activities below to integrate math into your daily summer activities. Your child may not even realize she’s practicing math skills with these fun and engaging activities. With regular practice over the summer,  she’ll jump-start the new school year with a strong set of well-developed math skills!

Grocery Shopping

A trip to the supermarket might seem like another errand to check off your to-do list, but it can also serve as a great learning opportunity for your child. Bring your young child with you and have him practice basic addition. He can count three red apples, for instance, and add them to three green apples to make six total apples. For older children, have them identify the price of an item (a small bag of popcorn might be \$1.25, for instance) and then ask them to tell you the total price of five bags. Cut out coupons ahead of time and ask your child how much \$0.50 off a six-pack of seltzer would come to, or what the savings would be if a jug of milk was 25 percent off. These engaging activities serve as practical ways to reinforce fundamental math skills.

Eating at a Restaurant

Summer is a great time to dine out at family-friendly restaurants. Tie in some math learning (and help the minutes pass before your food arrives!) by asking your child to find the least expensive and most expensive items on the menu. You can also have her categorize items into those from, say, \$5-\$10, \$10-\$20, and \$20-\$30. Perhaps ask her to create a graph with these different values on the back of a paper menu or napkin. At the end of the meal, have her calculate how much a 15 percent and 20 percent tip would be, and decide which one to leave.