Are you ready to explore the world of ratios and proportions with your child? Understanding ratios and proportions is an important mathematical concept that is used in everyday life. Ratios are used to compare the sizes of two or more quantities, while proportions are used to compare ratios.
Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds! Ratios and proportions are just ways of comparing and scaling things. And with the below-mentioned activities designed specifically for children, learning about ratios and proportions can be both educational and entertaining.
From scaling recipes to solving puzzles and solving worksheets, these activities will help your child understand the concept of ratios and proportions in a fun and engaging way. So let’s get started on this mathematical adventure!
Fun & educational activities to reinforce ratio and proportion skills
1. Let’s make a refreshing drink
Making a refreshing drink involves using measurements and proportions. Children can help measure ingredients and learn how ratios affect the taste of a drink.
For this activity, choose a simple drink such as a lemonade or orange juice and ask the children to help measure the ingredients using measuring cups and spoons. Explain how to calculate the proportions of the ingredients. Encourage them to taste it and discuss how changing the ratios of the ingredients affects the taste.
This activity helps children develop their math skills by using ratios and proportions in a practical setting, and it also helps them learn about cooking and nutrition.
2. Picture puzzles
Asking children to Identify shapes that are in proportion to each other, picture puzzles are a fun and educational activity. In this activity, you can start by showing children a variety of pictures with different shapes and sizes. Begin by explaining to them what it means for two shapes to be in proportion to each other, and how they can use measurement tools like a ruler or measuring tape to compare the sizes of different shapes.
Encourage children to take their time and really examine the shapes in each picture, looking for those that are in proportion to one another. Once children have a good understanding of how to identify shapes that are in proportion to each other, you can turn this into a fun puzzle game. Show them a picture with a mix of different shapes and ask them to find pairs of shapes that are in proportion to each other.
You can increase the difficulty by including shapes with irregular sides or shapes that are rotated at different angles. You can also have children draw their own shapes and then challenge them to find other shapes in the picture that are in proportion to the ones they drew. This activity not only helps children develop their spatial awareness and measurement skills but also encourages them to think creatively and problem-solve. Educators can also club this activity with a few ratio and proportion jokes to make the activity more interesting.
3. Candy jar problem
Count and calculate the ratio of different types of candy in a jar using fractions and proportions in this engaging activity. For this activity, start by filling a jar with an assortment of candies in different colors and shapes. Then, ask the children to count the number of each type of candy in the jar and write down the total count for each.
Next, have them calculate the ratio of each type of candy by dividing the number of candies of that type by the total number of candies in the jar. For example, if there are 20 red candies and 40 green candies in the jar, the ratio of red to green candies is 1:2, or 1/3 red candies to 2/3 green candies. This activity helps children develop their math skills by learning how to use fractions and proportions to calculate ratios, and it also encourages them to think logically and methodically.
To make this ratio and proportion game even more engaging, you can have children work in groups to compare the ratios of different types of candy and discuss their findings. You can also challenge them to create different ratios by adding or removing candies from the jar, or by separating candies into different groups based on color or shape. This activity not only helps children develop their math skills but also provides a fun and interactive way for them to learn and explore different concepts related to fractions and proportions.
4. Price comparison
Compare prices of different items and allow children to learn about ratios and proportions in this interactive activity. In this activity, start by providing children with a list of prices for different items, such as pencils, notebooks, erasers, and markers.
Then, ask them to choose two items and find the ratio of their prices. Encourage children to use mental math or a calculator to divide the prices and write down the ratio as a fraction or a decimal. For example, if a notebook costs $2 and a pencil costs $0.50, the ratio of the price of the notebook to the price of the pencil is 4:1, or 2/1 in fraction form.
This activity helps children learn about ratios and proportions by comparing the prices of different items, and it also helps them develop their math skills. To make this activity more interactive, you can have children work in pairs or groups and challenge them to find the ratio of prices for multiple items. You can also ask them to create their own list of prices for different items and exchange lists with other groups to compare and discuss their findings.
This activity not only helps children learn about ratios and proportions, but it also encourages them to think critically and collaboratively, as they work together to solve math problems and share their ideas with others.
5. Map scaling
Exploring maps and learning how to use a map scale to find the distance between two points using ratios and proportions can be the most fun-filled activity for children. For this activity, start by showing children a map with a scale, and explain to them how to use the scale to find the distance between two points.
Then, ask them to choose two points on the map, such as their school and a nearby park, and use the map scale to find the distance between them. Encourage children to measure the distance on the map using a ruler and then use the scale to convert the distance to real-world miles or kilometers.
This activity helps children develop their math skills by learning how to use ratios and proportions to calculate distances, and it also encourages them to think spatially and logically. Since maps are good manipulatives to teach kids about ratios and proportions, teachers can make this activity more engaging, by having children work in pairs or small groups and challenge them to find the distance between different points on the map.
You can also ask them to create their own maps and scales and exchange them with other groups to solve distance problems. This activity not only helps children learn about ratios and proportions, but it also provides a fun and interactive way for them to explore different locations and landmarks on a map, and learn more about the world around them.
Daily-life practices to apply ratios & proportions in practical scenarios
Daily life activities can help children gain a better understanding of ratios and proportions and better absorb the real-life application of this concept. So below are some simple ways in which children can begin with the concept of daily life activities
Shopping provides a great opportunity to introduce children to ratios and proportions. For example, when buying snacks, children can learn to compare the ratio of the price to the number of snacks they will get in a package.
For this activity, take the children to a store and ask them to choose a few snacks they like. Encourage them to compare the price and the amount of snacks in each package, and calculate the ratio of the price to the amount of snacks. Ask them to find the package with the best value based on the ratio.
This activity helps children develop their math skills by using ratios and proportions to compare prices and quantities, and it also teaches them how to make smart shopping choices.
2. Measuring and Weighing
Everyday activities like measuring and weighing can also help introduce the concept of ratios and proportions to children. They can compare the weight of different objects and learn how to convert between different units of measurement.
For this activity, give children a variety of objects with different weights and ask them to compare the weights using a scale. Encourage them to convert the weights to different units of measurement, such as ounces to pounds or grams to kilograms. Ask them to find objects that have the same weight ratio, such as two objects that weigh 3:1 or 4:2.
This activity helps children develop their math skills by using ratios and proportions to compare weights and convert between different units of measurement, and it also teaches them about the importance of accuracy and precision in measuring.
3. Sports and Games
Sports and games involve ratios and proportions in various ways. Children can learn about the ratio of players to the playing field size, or the ratio of the length and width of a court or field.
For this activity, choose a sport or game that children enjoy playing, such as basketball or soccer. Ask them to measure the size of the playing field or court, and calculate the ratio of the length to the width. Encourage them to compare the ratios of different fields or courts for different sports, and discuss how the ratios affect the gameplay.
This activity helps children develop their math skills by using ratios and proportions to analyze sports and games, and it also teaches them about the importance of teamwork and strategy in sports.
4. Art and Design
Art and design also involve ratios and proportions. Children can explore how proportions affect the appearance of a picture, or learn about the proportions of different shapes and objects.
For this activity, give children a set of shapes and ask them to create a picture using the shapes. Encourage them to explore different proportions of the shapes, and discuss how changing the ratios of the shapes affects the appearance of the picture.
Ask them to create another picture using the same set of shapes, but with different proportions. This activity helps children develop their creativity and artistic skills, while also learning about ratios and proportions in art and design.
5. Recipe Scaling
Recipe scaling is a simple activity using daily household products. It helps children learn to scale up or down a recipe to serve a different number of people using ratios and proportions through recipe scaling.
For this activity, give children a recipe for a certain number of servings, such as 4 servings of pancakes, and ask them to scale it up or down to serve a different number of people, such as 8 servings. Ask them to write down the ingredients and measurements for both the original recipe and the scaled recipe, so they can see the differences and the proportions between them.
In conclusion, teaching children about math concepts like number bonds and ratios and proportions doesn’t have to be difficult or boring. There are many engaging and fun activities that parents and teachers can use to introduce these concepts in a way that is both educational and entertaining.
Whether it’s through games, puzzles, or real-world activities, children can learn to appreciate the importance and usefulness of these concepts in their daily lives. By making math more accessible and relevant, we can help children develop a lifelong love for learning and build important skills that will serve them well in the future..
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,