Graphing Math Games for Kids

Graphs are tools that can help your child organize and visualize data. They can also be used to track your child's progress or categorize his or her favorite things. Read on for more examples on how you can make graphing fun and interesting.

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How Can I Turn Graphing into a Game?

Kids begin learning how to graph in math as early as elementary school. During statistics and data analysis lessons, kids might plot data using bar graphs or pie charts. As they advance, kids begin to use line graphs in algebra. Although your child can practice graphing by plotting data points by hand for homework, you can also make it into a game. Graphing at home provides an opportunity for your child to get into the habit of labeling the axes and including a title.

Graphing Games by Graph Types

Bar

1. Using a variety of different balls, for instance a basketball, baseball and volleyball, your child can make a graph for how far she can throw each ball. The x-axis (horizontal) would be the type of ball and the y-axis (vertical) would be the distance.

2. Your child can create a bar graph based on his interests. For instance, if he's interested in dinosaurs, then the x-axis can be types of dinosaurs and the y-axis can be their heights. Remember that this type of graph can be applied to anything that your child is interested in, and it can also be fun to decorate the graph.

Pie

1. Like the bar graph, a pie chart can be used to show comparable numbers. For a fun activity over the summer, have your child create a pie chart recording how she spends the day. For instance, if your child spends the majority of the day outside, then the majority of the pie chart would represent being outside.

2. Another fun activity may be for your child to interview friends and family to find their favorite color, movie genre or type of pizza. Then, based on this data, he can create a pie chart. Pie charts can be more challenging - and fun - because they require a key. For instance, each type of pizza could be labeled on the pie chart using a color. The key lets us know what color represents what type of pizza.

Line

1. Especially during elementary and middle school, your child can have fun graphing her height over the course of the year. For this graph, the x-axis is the month and height in inches is represented on the y-axis.

2. If your child plays a sport, a line graph can be a fun way to track his progress. For instance, track the distance that your child can throw a baseball over the course of a few months. This way, he can see the direct benefits of practice and hard work.

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