Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let the Math Games Begin! Great Ideas for Olympic Math with Kids

The London Olympics begin tomorrow, and I've already let my kids know this means they'll get to watch a lot of TV over the next couple of weeks.

And while I'm all good with our upcoming Olympic viewing, it doesn't mean I couldn't be even good-er with it if I thought the kids could get a little sneaky learning at the same time.

Bedtime Math - a very cool idea from a New Jersey Mom - has lots of ways to teach your kids math while they're watching the Olympics.

When the Olympics are over, you can continue the math fun with nightly problems available on the Bedtime Math website ( and on the Bedtime Math Problem Facebook page. You can also get math problems via a daily email.

Here are Bedtime Math's ideas for Olympic math fun:
  • Measure time with your own Olympic-style race. Many Olympic sports are won when an athlete gets from point A to point B fastest. Help your kids understand time with your own Olympic-style race outside. Use a stopwatch to time each family member and then compare times to see who finished fastest.

  • Keep track of medals won.Throughout the Olympics, total the number of gold, silver, and bronze medals won by U.S. athletes. Create a chart on a poster board or piece of paper, and use gold, silver, and bronze stars to track medal wins.

  • Go the distance. Olympic events like the long jump and the shot put are two great examples of sports that can be used to teach your kids about distance. Use a measuring tape to measure how far your child can throw a baseball, or see how much distance he or she can cover in a long jump-inspired leap.

  • Count everything. There are so many different ways to practice counting during the Olympics. Asyou’re watching the different sports competitions, ask your children to tell you how many players are on the field, lanes are in the pool, or countries are represented in a particular event – the opportunities for counting are endless!

For more ideas for Olympic fun crafting, baking and playing kid-versions of events, check out all these Olympic ideas on Pinterest.

I was not compensated for this post. I just think making math fun for kids is awesome!

Note: There is an actual Math Olympics. And a good commentary about how Math Olympiads should be as revered as Olympic athletes. The author ends with, "It’s time to glorify Olympic math champions, just as we glorify Olympic swimmers."

Read more here:

What do you think?


l.e.s.ter said...

There will also be a math museum in New York City, opening December 15th...

RandomHandprints said...

good find!

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