Math Games that Practice Estimating

Estimation is a skill that we often use in daily functions, which could include approximating the cost of expenses or estimating of how many items are needed for an event. Continue reading for games that will help your child perfect this important mathematical skill.

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How to Improve Your Child's Estimating Skills

In order for your child to accurately estimate, he or she will have to select and apply appropriate methods, such as interpreting remainders and mentally calculating products and quotients. A solid foundation of estimation skills will reflect in your child's ability to round numbers and to fully comprehend place value.

How Much Did We Spend?

While grocery shopping with your child, have him or her estimate the cost for each item on your list. Have your child write down all of the estimates and come up with an approximate total. Feel free to have your child estimate to varying degrees of currency. For example, if your child is struggling with this concept, you may just ask that he or she estimates to the nearest dollar. If your child is more advanced, ask him or her to estimate to the nearest ten cents.

Estimating Degrees

Use a thermometer to have your child estimate Fahrenheit temperature readings of various liquids, like hot tea, tap water and soda. Encourage your child to record both his or her estimate as well as the actual temperature. Depending on your child's ability level, you can ask him or her to estimate to the nearest five or ten degrees. To ensure complete understanding, be sure your child can correctly write the temperature readings. This game could also be played using the outside temperature.

Yarn Estimates

Before playing this game, cut several pieces of yarn to different lengths. Then, ask your child to estimate the length of each piece. You can decide which to use based on your child's ability. Centimeter and inches would both be appropriate units of measurement. Next, have your child actually measure the pieces of yarn to check the accuracy of his or her estimate. Points are given for each inch or centimeter that your child was off. The goal is to have the least amount of points by the end of the game.

For additional fun, estimate the height of large items, like buildings. Then, help your child do the research to find out how accurate his or her guess was.

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