Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

Living Math

LEGO Fractions – Image by Alycia Zimmerman from {link to:}

Regular, unstructured play is important for kids. But there are those times when kids can use a little inspiration. Parents can help by giving old toys new life with purposeful play and a little bit of living math thrown in. It’s a great two for one—getting your money’s worth out of toys as well as a little learning in the living room.

Learning with LEGOS is a big movement online, but the living math principal can make a lesson out of everyday life. With a little imagination and some clever lesson plans, kids can be working on simple machines, problem solving, and fractions while having lots of fun. I was a tinker toy kid and didn’t even realize the concepts I covered while trying to make a catapult. Are you making the most of your child’s toys? How do you use toys to teach? Have you tried the living math method?

Some ideas and plans for purposeful play and living math:

Living math books:

If You Were a Set by Marcie Aboff.

Only One by Marc Harshman 

Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies by Louise Matthews

The Best of Times by Greg Tang

Grapes of Math by Greg Tang 

Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens by Cindy Neuschwander