When you hear the word math playground, it almost always conjures up images of over-scheduled math classes, difficult math problems, and an overabundance of homework. In the words of the great Ansari, “You can’t make this stuff up!” While this may be true for many students, there are plenty of ways to create a math playground that’s fun and safe.

A math playground is a defined area in a school where students can perform math tasks independently without being supervised by another student. It should be fun and not be a place where kids feel they have to prove they’re good at math to be there. The best way to create a math playground that’s safe and fun is to avoid over-scheduled math classes, overuse of the word “math” in general, and over-emphasis on math homework. Instead, aim for a balance of activities that have a positive effect on the kids in them and that are made up of activities that are safe and fun.

## What is a math playground?

A math playground is a defined area in a school where students can perform math tasks independently without being supervised by another student. It should be fun and not be a place where kids feel they have to prove they’re good at math to be there. The best way to create a math playground that’s safe and fun is to avoid over-scheduled math classes, overuse of the word “math” in general, and over-emphasis on math homework. Instead, aim for a balance of activities that have a positive effect on the kids in them and that are made up of activities that are safe and fun.

## Why is math so important for kids?

It’s easy to forget now, but back in the day, kids loved math classes. It was something they could do while they waited for dinner to come out. It could be spent talking to one another or doing research on a project. In some ways, math was considered a “ insulation booster.” It provided a sense of security and structure provided by the outside world.

## How to create a math playground that’s safe and fun

What makes a great math playground? What makes a safe math playground? Where should the kids go to math? Here are some ideas:

Build a simple calculator. This is the first step to building a math playground. You can either find one at a shop or use an app. A simple calculator allows you to do simple math problems without any extra effort.

Build a simple graphing calculator. As the numbers get higher, the feeling increases. This is a great way to build quantitative skills. The numbers get higher and higher until you’re looking at something like a .9999 sec walking speed. This is the feeling that occurs when you have speed.

Build a simple math game. This will give the kids something to do while they wait for dinner to cook. The math games I teach encourage movement and problem solving. I find this especially useful when the kids are young and need a bit of help.

## Tips for creating a math playground

- Follow the below steps to Create a math playground that’s safe and fun:

Find a safe location. This can be in your room or out on the sidewalk. Make it accessible for everyone. Set a start time. This is when you will have a chance to get all the kids in the room moving. Set a conclusion. This is when you will have a chance to get all the kids in the room and their parents and siblings laughing.

- Set a goal. This is what builds the momentum and makes any activity fun. It should be smaller than the overall goal. For example, if you set a goal of making 10 new friends, then the overall math activity should be about 3-4 pages. However, if you set a goal of making 100 friends, then the page should be about 10 new friends.
- Have a clear goal. This part is important. You don’t want to set a goal that’s too ambitious. It will make things harder on the next step. Instead, have a goal that is achievable but not too simple.
- Start small. Start with one or two activities at a time. This way, the kids will have a clear idea of what they are doing and where they are going. As they progress through the steps, they will understand that it’s not just a “we” who are doing the moving and transforming.

## Summary

A math playground is a place where kids can spend time together doing math problems without being supervised by another student. It should be fun and not be a place where kids feel they have to prove they’re good at math to be there. The best way to create a math playground that’s safe and fun is to avoid over-scheduled math classes, overuse of the word “math” in general, and over-emphasis on math homework. Instead, aim for a balance of activities that have a positive effect on the kids in them and that are made up of activities that are safe and fun.

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