Fun 5th Grade Math Activities to Do at Home

In 5th grade, students learn to measure capacity, or volume, and work with fractions. If these concepts are giving your child difficulty, try using the fun activities below to help boost his or her understanding.

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5th Grade Mathematics Overview

Among other skills, your 5th grader will begin learning to measure volume and recognize volume as a characteristic of a solid figure. When discussing volume with your child, feel free to use the terms volume and capacity interchangeably, as they both refer to the amount a figure can hold.

Fractions with unlike denominators will consistently be found within your 5th grader's mathematical curriculum. Solving problems containing fractions with unlike denominators is often difficult because of the multiple steps required to reach an answer. Consider using the hands-on activities below to help your child understand these difficult mathematical skills.

Volume Activities

Scavenger Hunt

Before beginning the scavenger hunt, set a few guidelines for what you expect your child to locate. For instance, you could ask your child to bring back containers that he thinks will hold an equal amount.

Send your child on a search for containers around your house that fit within the guidelines you provided. After your child has located the containers, ask her to arrange them in order from smallest capacity to largest capacity. Fill the containers with water, recording the amount each container holds. If any containers need to be rearranged, discuss the reasoning with your child.

Cooking up Math

Using a measuring cup, have your child measure out a specific amount of rice. Ask your child to make a prediction about how the measurement of the rice may change after it has been cooked. Boil the rice and have your child measure it again. Ask your child questions like: What has changed regarding the measurement? How much rice is there now and why do you think this happened? Feel free to substitute pasta noodles for the rice in this activity.

Fraction Activities

Picture This Fraction

For this activity, draw two rectangles and divide each of them into a different number of sections. Have your child use construction paper strips to model specific fractions. For instance, for 2/3, your child would divide a rectangle into three sections and cover two of them with paper strips.

Use this activity to help your child compare fractions with unlike denominators. Compare 2/3 with 4/5 by repeating the activity above. Your child will find that 4/5 is greater than 2/3.

Pizza Fractions

Cook two frozen pizzas to help your child visualize fractions with unlike denominators. After the pizzas are cooked, slice one of them into four pieces and the other one into eight pieces. Have your child create a fraction for each pizza. Point out to your child that two of the smaller pieces will 'fit' on top of one of the larger pieces. Create addition and subtraction problems for your child to solve based on the pizza fractions.

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