Division can be a challenging concept for your child to grasp, especially if they have already decided that math is one of their least favourite topics. However, it's essential that your child is able to divide properly as it is something that appears frequently in different areas of math and everyday life.
There is no right or wrong way to teach your child division rules as every child learns differently. Some children prefer to learn through reading, while others are more visual learners and need to see physical examples of the concepts that they are trying to grasp.
One of the best ways to build your child's confidence when it comes to division is through fun activities. They will learn the basic ideas of division and be able to practice their new skills while still being in a relaxed environment.
In this guide, we hope to give you a variety of games and ideas that could make teaching division to your child both informative and enjoyable.
Below are nine different ways that you can help your child to improve their division skills using fun and creative methods. You can adapt how challenging the questions are based on whether you are trying to introduce division to a young child or you are trying to help your child master more difficult equations.
Some children find it easier to learn when they have visual aids to accompany mathematical equations. A good way to do this for division is to encourage your child to separate a group of their toys into various groups and then count how many toys are in each of these piles.
For example, you could take a pile of twenty lego pieces (or another type of toy) and ask your child to evenly distribute them into two piles and then five piles. They will be able to understand how one larger number can be separated into small numbers by physically placing them into different groups.
Using division models is also a great way to teach your child about remainders. You can start off by asking them to separate their toys into piles that will evenly distribute the toys and then progress to asking your child to separate the toys into a set number of piles that will leave remainders.
Create anchor charts
Anchor charts can be used to teach children about a variety of subjects. The idea is to create a chart with your child as you teach them the fundamental rules and strategies for division. These charts can help your child to pick out the relevant information and simplify it into terms that they will find easier to remember.
There's no right or wrong way to make division anchor charts, which means that your child can be as creative as they want. It's advisable to use lots of different colored pens to make the chart look appealing and to help your child identify the separate groups of information.
You can use headings on the chart that identify lesson objectives and division strategies. The chart could also feature a few simple examples of equations so that they have a useful reminder of how to calculate using division. It's a good idea to keep the chart visible for the remaining lessons so that your child can refer back to them if they want to refresh their memory.
Make division squares
Division squares are a fun way of getting your child to complete several equations without writing them out in a list. You can take a three-by-three grid and write a few numbers to get your child started. The idea is that each row and column have individual division problems that your child will need to complete to fill in the empty spaces.
You can make the grids progressively larger so that your child has to complete additional problems as they grow more confident with division. The squares could be worth different 'points' so that your child feels that they are playing a game as they complete each answer.
Play division bingo
Give your child a list of problems that they have to work out, along with a grid of the answers. As they complete each problem, they can tick the answer off the grid until they have completed a row and eventually the whole grid. This game is even better if you have multiple children playing it, as they can compete with each other to be the first one to call out 'Bingo!'.
This game can help your child feel more confident with their calculations as they already have a list of answers in front of them. They will know whether they are on the right track with their working out as they can compare their answers with the numbers listed on the grid in front of them.
Read division stories
Most children love story time, so what better way to introduce them to division? There are a variety of books that you can read to your children that explore the concept of division. The books feature illustrations that explain how different characters and objects can be divided, which can help your child to make the connection between written equations and real-life examples.
You could give your child toys so that they can act out the story as you read it. This is a good way to slowly introduce division to your child in a fun and interactive way without making it seem too intimidating. You could then write out equations based on the book so that they can make the connection between the story and the numbers written in front of them.
Play card games
There are a number of traditional card games that you can adapt so that your child is practicing division at the same time as playing. For example, instead of trying to find matching pairs when playing Go Fish, you could encourage your child to find cards that can divide evenly.
You could also use a deck of playing cards to display different equations. While this is still getting your child to complete equations, they can have a more hands-on approach by trying to find the cards that equal the answers. This also helps your child to practice their addition skills as you will need multiple cards grouped together to equal the answer of larger numbers.
Create a pile of different colored flashcards that each feature a different division equation. Once your child calculates the correct answer to an equation, they can pick a block with the corresponding color to remove from the Jenga tower. You can write harder equations on the flashcards as your child gets more confident with division.
This division game will help your child to practice answering problems while at the same time enjoying a classic children's game. You can also adapt other board games to help your child practice division by substituting a roll of the dice with an equation or a similar method. The key is to make sure that your child is practising their division skills while giving them an incentive that offers immediate reward once they have completed the question.
Use math apps
Children are growing up in a tech-focused world, so it's little wonder that many of them love going onto smart devices to play games and watch videos. You can harness this excitement by encouraging your child to play games on math apps. The app store is full of games for children that are designed to help them improve their division skills.
Interactive division games help teach division to your child in a way that's accessible and more interesting than copying equations from a textbook. Apps often feature varying challenge levels that offer rewards once they have been completed. This form of positive reinforcement can help improve your child's confidence and teach them that math doesn't have to be boring.
Create a division house
This is a creative way to get your child practising long division while still maintaining an imaginative element. The idea is to give your child a list of equations that they have to complete. These equations will coincide with various elements of a house that your child needs to construct.
For example, the answer to the first question could determine how many windows your child needs to draw on their house. The second question could reveal how many bricks, while the next could be to determine the street number on the house. You could adapt the division worksheets to encourage your child to draw a number of different designs, such as a castle or even a spaceship.
You may be able to find a free printable game sheet online that comes ready with questions. Alternatively, you could make the questions more personal by asking your child to input their own numbers into the equations. One question could ask them to divide the number of siblings that they have by the number of pets, for instance. This could make the division lesson seem more relevant to their own life, which may make the equations seem more enjoyable.
There are various ways to help provide division practice to your child in a fun and relaxed environment. Many of the listed activities incorporate traditional games, such as Go Fish and Bingo, with a division element. Your child will enjoy playing a familiar game while at the same time improving their mathematical skills – which they might not even notice they're doing!
You can change the difficulty levels of each of these activities so that your child can still enjoy them as they progress to harder equations. Once they have become more confident with dividing using these methods, you can give them worksheets to see if the skills and knowledge that they have gained can be used to mentally calculate the answers.