How to Teach Even and Odd Numbers to Kids

Children typically learn about odd and even numbers at an early age. School curricula usually include this concept by second grade. Read on for some ways to teach even and odd numbers to your child.

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How Can I Help My Child Learn Even and Odd Numbers?

Read Books

A number of fun books can be used to teach your child about even and odd numbers. Your child's school or public library may have them. Examples of these books include:

  • Even Steven and Odd Todd by Kathryn Cristaldi
  • My Even Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed
  • One Odd Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed
  • The Odds Get Even: The Day the Odd Numbers Went on Strike by Pamela Hall

Do Hands-On Activities

Look online for a printable hundreds chart for your child. You'll also need 50 small paper squares to use as counters and a crayon. Divide six counters into pairs to demonstrate that if none are left over, it is an even number. Then take away one to show that if they are paired with one left over, the number is odd. Ask your child to use her counters to find the even numbers up to 20, coloring the square for each even number on the chart.

Help her notice the patterns on the chart. For example, every other square is colored, the colored squares are in columns, and colored numbers end in 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. Have her finish coloring the patterns up to 100. Emphasize that the colored squares are the even numbers, and the other numbers are odd numbers.

Practice Skip Counting

Start by counting by ones, clapping on the even numbers and whispering the odd numbers. Then, move on to just even numbers, counting up to ten and then building on that until your child gets to 100. Next, use the same method to count odd numbers.

Play Games

You can play a game called popcorn. Call out random numbers. When you say an even number, your child squats down. For an odd number, he jumps up and shouts, 'Popcorn!'

You can also help your child practice even and odd numbers using a pair of dice. First, ask your child to roll just one die and tell you whether the number is odd or even. Once he's done that a few times, have him do it with both dice. Each time, ask him to explain why the number is odd or even.

Review Even and Odd Number Facts

Challenge your child to prove the following statements. Alternatively, give her two correct statements and a false one, and ask her to find the false one.

Addition

  1. If you add a number to itself, such as 2 + 2 or 49 + 49, the answer is an even number.
  2. If you add two odd numbers, the answer is an even number.
  3. If you add two even numbers, the answer is an even number.
  4. If you add an odd number and an even number, the answer is an odd number.

Subtraction

  1. If you subtract an even number from an even number, the answer is an even number.
  2. If you subtract an odd number from an odd number, the answer is an even number.
  3. If you subtract an even number from an odd number, the answer is an odd number.
  4. If you subtract an odd number from an even number, the answer is an odd number.
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