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Secret Mathematical Formulas

Required:

  • Pen and paper

Here's a game where your child knows all the answers. But does he or she know the questions?

Think of a mathematical formula that reflects the type of problems your child is studying in school (for a younger child, you might choose a simple addition or subtraction problem; older kids might be challenged by using other arithmetic computations). Give your child the answer (say, "5"), then see whether he or she knows how you arrived at it.

Younger children might guess that your formula is "4 + 1," "5 + 0," or "8 - 3." Encourage older kids to use division or multiplication, or even percentages to come up with potential candidates.

Once your child guesses the correct formula, turn the tables—your child gives you the answer, and you try to figure out how he or she arrived at it. You'll undoubtedly want to keep plenty of scrap paper hand when it's your turn to guess!

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From 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, and F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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