Fractions seem to be one of those concepts that some children find difficult to grasp. Luckily, there are lots of easy ways you can relate fractions to everyday life to help explore them in an enjoyable way.
1. Food and fractions
The good news is that food and fractions make a great combination.
Fractions are really just about sharing. Every time we share food – when we slice a pizza, share out grapes, cut a baguette up into equal parts – we are making fractions. We all know how determined children can be to ensure that no one has a bigger piece of cake than them and that all pieces are equal! You can use this impulse, along with a yummy pizza or cake, to explore fractions.
Show your child that if you cut a pizza into 2 equal pieces, each piece is a fraction called a half. You can show your child that we write 1 half like this, ½ .
The bottom number tells us how many equal pieces we have cut the pizza into.
The top number tells us how many of the equal pieces we are getting.
If you cut the pizza into 6 equal pieces and your child eats 1 piece and you eat 1 piece, you have taken 2 sixths. You can show your child that we write 2 sixths like this, 2/6 .
2. Sharing things out
Explore fractions when sharing out other things – toys or money, for example. Take 8 items – toy cars, one pence coins, marbles – and split them into 4 groups. Explain to your children that you have split them into quarters. You can continue to explore fractions by taking a set number of items and working together to split them up into a set number of groups – 9 items into 3 groups to make thirds, and so on. Then talk about what fractions you have made and how you write the fractions.
3. Cupcake fractions (ages 7–9)
This fun cupcake fraction game will help children to find fractions of an amount. Get instructions for cupcake fractions here.
4. Fraction match game (ages 7–9)
Print out our fraction match cards and have fun playing a matching game or a game of pairs.
5. Fraction, Decimal and Percentage Treasure Hunt (ages 9–11)
Go on a fun treasure hunt and practise matching some common percentages, decimals and fractions. Get instructions for a fraction, decimal and percentage treasure hunt here.
Please note: all book links lead to more information on Amazon.co.uk
Find out how your child is introduced to fractions in school with this free booklet written by maths expert Kate Robinson. You’ll also find a wide range of games and activities that you can use at home to build your child’s skills and confidence in using fractions.
The Oxford First Illustrated Maths Dictionary supports the curriculum and gives your child a head start in understanding first maths concepts. Organised alphabetically, this dictionary gives simple and clear meanings for over 300 maths words and concepts, from ‘add’ to ‘zero’. Each entry is illustrated with child-friendly artwork plus diagrams, to explain, add meaning, and support the definition. Expertly-levelled supplementary material in an illustrated section at the back lists the everyday vocabulary children will come across in their maths lessons.
The Oxford Primary Illustrated Maths Dictionary supports the curriculum and gives comprehensive coverage of the key maths terminology children use in the primary classroom. Each entry has a clear and straightforward definition, along with a fun and informative colour illustration or diagram to help explain the meaning. There is also a full index at the end. Additional information is given in a fully illustrated section on mathematical apparatus, symbols, calculations, and much more.