Summer is wrapping up and, very soon, my two boys will be entering 1st and 3rd grades. They have had a summer of, and I quote, infinite playdates!

In my last post, I shared how families can continue to expose kids to math year round.  But as our patience resources wane during the last weeks of summer, I wanted to offer up a few turn-key ideas that can bring math to life.

Math in patterns

Math abounds in nature and once you bring your kids’ attention, their eyes pick up fractals and tessellations everywhere.

Books like Toads and Tessellations weave what would be otherwise complex math into stories and encourage math exploration.

Cutting uniform patterns and assembling them in tessellated patterns is possibly the best way to understand this high level geometry!


Math in bed

Bedtime Math, by Laura Overdeck is another fantastic book that shares cozy and sometimes crazy facts, and at the end of each chapter throws little age-appropriate challenges your child’s way. The puzzles might involve a simple addition operation, but the numbers are twisted around just so, to make it a fun challenge.

Math in the gymnasium

Just as adults need to read books with their children and model good reading habits, they also need to play math with their children and model good math attitudes.

Start off the year right with a Zeno Family Math Night! Imagine a hundred or so parents, students and school staff spending an evening in the gymnasium together playing math. Family Math Nights are the perfect opportunity for your entire school community to explore how fun and accessible math can be. Please contact Caitlin Nunberg at for more information about how you can bring a Family Math Night to your school.

I hope with the tips shared in this series, summer math slide was all but history!

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