Math Puzzles and Games - Recomendations Please! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is ten and in a fifth-grade GATE class. While she is not crazy-gifted in math and science the way some of her classmates are, she's good enough that she has no problem keeping up with the class math work and mastering new concepts. She says math isn't hard, but is kind of boring. A couple of years ago, she DID think math was hard and that she wasn't good at it, but I think this teacher and this program have done a better job with presenting concepts than the combined-grade class she was in from first through third.

 

I'd like her to have some experience with recreational math -- both to see what that something can be hard at first but if you stick with it it will come (before she hits roadblocks for the first time in higher math classes and is utterly undone and reverts to "I'm not good at it) and also to see that math and problem-solving can be really satisfying. Any suggestions for fun math-oriented puzzles and games? Books, magazines, and web sites are all fine. They can't have the slightest whiff of the "drill" about them, and because she is not wildly advanced I think the Martin Gardner stuff or Games Magazine is too hard. She has a pretty low tolerance for doing things she doesn't think she's good at, which is one of the things I'm hoping games and puzzles will help with a bit ... She really likes physics-based puzzles like Where's My Water or Meeblings (at coolmath-games.com), and she IS crazy good at those (much better than I am!) but I don't think she recgonizes those as "math." She's lukewarm on sudoku.

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:58 PM
 
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Supposedly origami is helpful for math. I've read that it's most ideal for children around age 11, though we used it younger than that--so your daughter is poised to get something out of it.  I don't have a particular book to recommend, though. There are a lot of great websites about it. 

 

Also, knitting is supposed to be good. My son enjoyed learning to knit a couple of years ago. We also found the book Making Mathematics Through Needlework a lot of fun, though the crafts were beyond our level: 

 

http://www.toroidalsnark.net/mkbook.html

 

It might not be beyond your level of crafting, and the website has links to some of the projects on Ravelry in case you can't get the book from your library. The photos are pretty awesome. 

 

My son, who is younger but more into math, liked the game Numbers League:

 

http://www.bentcastle.com/nl.htm

 

Card games in general have a lot of math. Really all games do in some way or other. 


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Old 05-02-2012, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting -- she taught herself to knit last fall (although she claims crochet is waaay too hard, which I think is crazy because clearly crochet is far easier than knitting to all right-thinking people, because it's easier for me ...) And we have some origami stuff, but she quickly gets frustrated if the instructions are unclear or the folds are too hard.

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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I forgot Vi Hart: 

 

http://www.youtube.com/vihart

 

(But of course, I was just reminded because my DS came down and said, "Have you seen the latest Vi Hart video? Let's watch it together.")

 

Lots of nice jokes. My son is also a fan of the Numberphile channel, because he liked The Periodic Table of Videos first. (It's a project from the same science educator.) Not sure if all kids would like it, though. I think anyone would enjoy the Vi Hart stuff. 

 

 

The origami book that I remember wasn't too hard was called Sort-of-Difficult Origami (it wasn't difficult!) by Chris Alexander. You might just need to shop around for paper folds that aren't crazily difficult. 

 

I don't knit OR crochet, and in fact I was pants at math in school. This is all coming from me trying to entertain and provide enrichment. 


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Old 05-02-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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We like this series of Perplexors books.

http://www.amazon.com/MindWare-Math-Perplexors-Level-A/dp/193305462X

I linked to the math ones, although DS prefers the straight logic ones. (He's eight, not profoundly gifted, and has no trouble with the A level, FYI.)

-e
 


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