What is Mindfulness?
This is the first question kids answer while participating in the Math Mindfulness® programs. Many answers include calm, yoga, deep breathing, focus, meditation and relaxation. In today’s world, this is how most people think of being mindful.
However, mindful is actually being present or aware in the moment. (See the definition in the downloadable Mini-Poster). Can you be mindful when you are skydiving, scuba diving, bike riding with the family or baking in the kitchen? Yes! Being present in the moment is the essence of mindfulness.
What is Math Mindfulness®?
Our program’s tagline is Be Mindful, Notice Math. Being present in the moment and noticing how math is part of all of our experiences. Everywhere we go, everything we do… math is there. As a parent, it’s important to share with your kids our definition of Math Mindfulness®: take notice of math experiences; to become aware of math experiences on a moment-to-moment bases. (Download the definition document).
Why is this important? Fun Interactive experiences empower your children’s love of math and you have the power to show them how math is necessary for everything we do. Yes, bringing teachable moments to life with your kids will help them understand how they will use math for the rest of their lives.
The following are examples you can use to have fun teachable moments.
This is probably the easiest first step to notice math. Spending money while shopping or saving for a special toy is a great way to introduce money to children. Being able to budget, understand finances and how to save their money are critical life skills rarely taught in school but important math life lessons.
When my children were young, we bought these saving jars that were divided into three sections: save, spend, and share. When our children received gifts or allowance, we had them put a percentage in each area. The best part of this experience was the share section and deciding which charity they would donate their money to help others. Meaningful Math Mindfulness® can be created at home in fun activities that make a difference. Any type of fundraising activity with a financial goal would be a great family experience and bring Math Mindfulness® to life.
Many children play sports for the team experience and exercise or watch sports because they love to watch the competition. As I found out with my own children playing in recreational leagues, sports are a great way to introduce numbers by keeping stats and scores. Since many sports score differently, this Math Mindfulness® moment makes it even more fun.
As quick examples, my son played soccer and tennis. So counting goals to determine the winner or keeping track of the score for each match is a Math Mindfulness® experience. My daughter played volleyball and keeping track of her team’s success was also a great Math Mindfulness® opportunity.
Watching sports is another great opportunity to keep track of scores and the statistics of your favorite team or player. Living in Tampa Bay during the 2020 and 2021 sports seasons was very exciting because our hockey team, Tampa Bay Lightning, won the Stanley Cup both in 2020 and in 2021. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team brought Tom Brady to town and they won the Super Bowl in his first season here in Tampa, FL. There were so many records broken and new statistics that it was incredibly exciting both for the wins and the math. Encouraging your children to keep track of team success and player stats is a great Math Mindfulness® activity and super FUN!
Summer Camper planning Anime Themed Party
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the Math Mindfulness Party Planning Activity Page to do with your kids.
Planning a party is so much fun and relies on many different aspects of math. Critical thinking skills, budgeting, shopping, cooking or baking (time and measurement), and just so much more. At the Math Mindfulness® summer camp, campers had fun planning their own parties. Our party planning activity page walked them through all of the critical thinking steps to plan a great event.
One of the most eye-opening calculations was the price of pizza. Pizza was definitely the most popular food served at all of the parties. Campers needed to figure out how much pizza to order and what the cost would be. Most campers were shocked by the total cost of pizza after they underestimated the price for food.
Engage your children in planning their birthday parties so they fully appreciate and are mindful of all of the effort and expense that goes into a great event.
Math matters in everything we do. Time, money, critical thinking, and standard arithmetic are truly part of our daily lives and when we are mindful of the math in our lives, we can share it with our children. Realizing the importance of math at an early age can change your child’s mindset towards math and success in math leading to a brighter future. Join our Math Mindfulness® movement to elevate your child’s trajectory towards incredible success by being mindful and noticing math with them each day. Tampa-based Fun Wise® Math offers a variety of fun math programs that can be customized to help your children succeed, from online tutoring and programs nationwide to on-site, in-person math tutoring in the Tampa area. To learn more, visit www.funwise.com.