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Summer Learning Resources

Word Problems for K - 5 Math Practice

 One key way for families to support learning at home is to incorporate real-life math word problems for children in grades K-5. Here are 12 at-home situations to give your student some grade-specific math practice at home.


1. Ask your child questions that require counting as many as 20 things. For example, ask, “How many books do you have about dogs?”

2. Ask your child questions that require comparing numbers up to 20. “Who has more grapes on his plate, you or your brother?”

1st Grade

3. If you open a new carton of a dozen eggs, and you use four eggs to make a cake, close the carton and ask your child how many eggs are left in the carton.

4. Play the “I’m thinking of a number” game. For example, “I’m thinking of a number that makes 14 when added to 6. What is my number?”

2nd Grade

5. When measuring your child’s height, ask how many inches he or she has grown since the very first time you measured. How many inches since the last time you measured?

6. When making a grocery list, look up prices online. Empty the change jar and ask your child to count out the right coins to buy each item.

3rd Grade

7. Notice the everyday occasions when you find yourself using multiplication, such as when you need to determine how many days there are in a certain number of weeks. Ask your child to help with the calculation, showing equal groups to prove his or her thinking.

8. Involve your child when you notice yourself using division to “work backwards” in multiplication. For example, based on the available number of baby carrots in the bag, how many would your child and his or her siblings get at snack time? Ask your child to help you make equal shares to prove their thinking.

4th Grade

9. Ask your child to compare numbers using phrases like “times as much.” For example, “If the baby weighs 21 pounds and your brother weighs four times as much, how much does your brother weigh?”

10. Ask your child to help you compare decimal or fractional amounts. For example, if one recipe calls for one-third of a cup of butter, but another recipe calls for three-fourths of a cup of butter, which recipe uses more butter?

5th Grade

11. When making a grocery list, look up prices online. Ask your student about helping you find the total if you were to buy several of one item. For example, “If I need to buy milk, and a gallon costs $2.59, how much would it cost me to buy three gallons of milk?”

12. Ask your child to help you add fractional amounts. For example, if one recipe calls for one-third of a cup of butter, and a second calls for three-fourths cup of butter, how much butter would you need to have on hand to make both recipes? 

12 STEM challenges to Engage the Whole Family!

 These 12 STEM challenges bring together activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to engage the whole family in learning. Take a look at these hands-on STEM activities and take the challenge to have fun learning! Grades K-5

1. Flip for Fun. Design and build catapults that can project an object over a distance. Use your knowledge of measurement to see how far everyone’s object flew and to determine whose object went the farthest distance!

2. Boat Builders. Construct a boat that can hold the most pennies without sinking in water.

3. Lose Your Marbles! Using everyday materials around your home, design your own marble run. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination soar!

4. Keep It Cool! Design and create a device that keeps ice from melting outside in the sun. Set a timer and record how much time it takes for the ice to melt completely. After you complete your device and test its effectiveness, see if you can improve your initial design to keep the ice cooler for even longer!

5. Whose Tower is Taller? Using only two pieces of newspaper and a ruler, see who in your family can build the tallest tower. No glue, tape, or scissors allowed! If you enjoy engineering and architecture, check out other cool resources from Building Big, including career information and activities as well as designs, profiles, and facts about famous buildings and skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, domes, and dams.

6. Simple Machines at Home. Engage in the physics of simple machines and design your own hand crank winch, using everyday materials around your home. Grades 6-12

7. Keep It Hot! Design and create an insulating cup that keeps a hot beverage warm the longest.

8. Energetic Science! Launch into projectile motion by building tabletop catapults using household materials.

9. Falling for STEM! Engage in the physics of falling objects by designing and creating a parachute from household material that helps an egg land safely when dropped from a height.

10. Happy Building! Explore simple machines by designing and engineering a Rube Goldberg machine— a wacky, multi-step contraption that solves a simple task in an overcomplicated and inefficient way. (Rube Goldberg was a prize-winning cartoonist best known for the zany inventions he designed for his cartoons.) Get the whole family in the act and enter the Rube Goldberg Bar of Soap Video Challenge! Find more Rube Goldberg resources online.

11. Fore! Who knew that mini-golf was so full of science! Have fun with angles, force, and motion as your family builds (and plays!) an indoor mini-golf course.

12. You be the Weather Forecaster! With this weather-predicting science project from Science Buddies, you can create your own barometer at home! Compare your barometer readings with your observations about the weather to identify patterns.

Check out more from Science Buddies, including science videos, resources for families, STEM career exploration, and more!