Dyscalculia Activities: A different take on improving early math skills

Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by Editorial Team

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder where the child cannot process the numbers or related operations in the mind using conventional methods. The dyscalculic children need alternative ways of learning math concepts. Such alternatives include activities that drive the children towards building number literacy and early math skills.

Dyscalculia activities are helpful for home-schooling children. These can also be used to give more practice of the concepts learned in school.

Main aim of dyscalculia activities is to prepare the child for daily life situations that involve numbers. Child has the intelligence but the tool is lacking for apply that intelligence. The activities, therefore, are designed in such a way that every normal object they come across on a daily basis provides certain learning. Some of the very easy-to-put dyscalculia activities are:

1. Using math manipulatives

Manipulatives are the objects that the children maneuver, arrange, or sort physically to achieve a learning goal. The best math manipulatives involving dyscalculia activities are:

  • Learn place value using number strips: In this activity, numbers 0 to 9 are written vertically on two card paper strips. You can insert these strips on date scroller of a calendar. Your arrangement will look something like this: Using this handy scroller, you can ask the child to determine the ten’s and one’s place value of the numbers. This activity can help in multiple ways. It offers the facility to learn counting, sequencing, and place value of the numbers.
board games activities for dyscalculia
  • Play board games: Board games are the fun activities that every family member enjoys. Children with number learning difficulty can learn a lot from board games. The parents can design a board game of their own too, by including various math operations at different numbers of the board game.
  • Bucket-fill challenges: Make a mini-bucket and stuff it with plastic bears of different colors. You can ask child to take out bears one by one. It serves three purposes – promotes counting ability, it can also be used to teach subtraction. You can also make two buckets of such kind to teach the concept of heavy and light.

2. Play-time activities

How about making playtime the learning time for kids? Here are some playtime activities that can be performed to meet the objectives of building math intelligence in dyscalculic kids.

  • Jump down the stairs: Staircase of a garden or a patio/entrance of the house may also act as a learning ground for the child. You can number the stairs as 1,2,3 and so on. Moving up and down the stairs can help the child learn – addition-subtraction, ascending-descending order, dodging number by 1, and number sequences.
play marbles for dyscalculia activities
  • Play with marbles: Collect marbles and give your child 10 of these. Ask him/her to give you back one by one. This simple activity can help learn subtraction. You can also use marbles to make shapes of different kinds like circle, rectangle triangle. Make a few lines using marbles and tell the child to identify bigger and smaller lines or ask to make lines using marbles starting from smaller to bigger. Marbles can be employed in a variety of ways to build number skills in a child.
  • Role play – shop owner and customer: You can bring in a little bit of drama into the playtime by donning the role of a customer and assigning the role of a shopkeeper to the child. You arrange some items on the table, assign some price to those. Now, pretend to buy them and let the child do the counting, etc. You can also make some currency bills and coins to give a more real feel to the process. It allows learning the concept of change and familiarizes the child with the bills’ identification process.

3. Activities that promote life skills

Various activities that people learn from childhood stays with them forever as habits. These are also called life-skills. Such activities include:

pocket diary kids maintaining for learning
  • Making a pocket diary: Make a pocket diary where a child is encouraged to write expenses made during the day. Give some money to the child at the start of the day. And, encourage to spend on things like buying stationery, balls or eatables. The kids can make a note of expense right after doing some buying. At the end of the day, ask the child about each and every expense made. This enables to build memory retention capabilities in the child.
  • Maintaining a piggy bank: Give your kids a piggy bank to save pocket money. The piggy banks can be made openable using a lock and key. Every week, the child can take out all money and count it and leave the score written in a sticky note. The next week, just give a nudge to encourage the child to tell you what the amount was last time and repeat counting exercise. So, you give the child a chance to recollect the last activity and also teach addition. By this activity, you are giving introduction to banking and budgeting to the child.

To sum up,

Dyscalculia activities offer the children a fun-filled way of building number learning abilities. The activities help internalize the concept and build concept memory. Since a lot of application is involved, these activities prepare the child for later life.

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