Real life maths – making it fun!

Real life maths – making it fun!

Little ChefsMaths often suffers from an undeserved reputation of being boring, and not relevant to normal life, but nothing could be further from the truth!

It’s easy for us as adults to overlook the maths we use on a daily basis, but practising maths in everyday situations could hold the key to your child’s understanding of fractions, division, multiplication, percentages, probability, and much more. Even better, it can help them to enjoy their lessons once they can see its practical application in their lives.

Try our suggestions to introduce more mental maths into your daily life as a family, and see for yourself how it helps to cement your children’s learning. Here are some examples from some of the most regular chores or tasks in family life:


  • Give children small errands, e.g. buying a newspaper or pint of milk and give them money so they have to work out which coins etc. to pay with.
  • Find the cheapest! Give them a mission to find the cheapest of a particular item, e.g. beans, apples.
  • Working out change: help them to add up the items in your basket (a trolley might be a bit on the ambitious side!), and how much change you’ll get – if you can be organised enough to pay in cash it will help them to visualise and get used to the values of different coins & notes.
  • Find the best value. looking at price/quantity. How much toilet roll can you buy for £3? Which pack has the lowest cost per sheet?

Cooking & Eating

  • Counting items – number of sweets in packet, raisins, slices of bread.
  • How long will dinner take to cook?
  • Weighing and portioning food: if everyone has 3 potatoes, how many do we need to cook?
  • Baking – making a cake or biscuits involves lots of weighing, measuring and counting out. For a real challenge, scale a recipe up or down so that the ingredients need working out.
  • Estimating: guess how many peas on the plate, etc. This has to be something it is possible to count afterwards to verify!
  • Offer things in fractions: would you like 1/4 or 2/5 of this pie/cake?

With a bit of imagination, you’ll soon have the whole family enjoying real life maths – and learning as they go along.

Let us know what games and methods you use to practice maths at home – we’d love to hear your ideas!