Conversation hearts are so fun to eat around Valentine’s Day, but did you know that you can teach some fun math lessons with them too? Take a look below at 5 math lessons you can teach with conversation hearts. These activities are so easy, so inexpensive, and a great way to reinforce some important math lessons right in your own home. Take a look below at how simple it is!
1. Pattern building.
Pour out a bag of conversation hearts and use them to build patterns. You can make simple AB patterns such as pink, green, pink green. Or, you can make an ABBA pattern such as pink, blue, blue, pink. Demonstrate how to build a pattern, create some of your own, and give each other the chance to finish your patterns.
2. Addition and subtraction.
Use conversation hearts as an addition and subtraction manipulative. Give children simple single digit problems and allow them to use the hearts as counters. It is an easy way to see the problem in front of their eyes and approach it in a hands on way. For older children, you can assign values to each heart and let them mix the hearts up and create problems of their own.
Study conversation hearts and how they relate to geometry. Talk about the heart shape and other shapes your child knows. Ask them to find other heart shapes in their surroundings. This is the perfect time of year for it. You can even send them on a heart scavenger hunt to see how many they can find.
Hearts are symmetrical most of the time. Show children how the heart can be cut down the center and both sides remain equal. It is a wonderful time to talk about symmetry! You don’t have to actually cut these hearts, but can use a pencil or marker to draw a line right down the center. It works great!
Use the conversation hearts as your unit of measurement. Find out how long items such as their hand, foot, shoe, or favorite toy is in “hearts.” Make predictions before you begin. For example, you might guess that their shoe is 10 conversation hearts long. Write your estimate down. Then, get the shoe and a handful of hearts. Lay the hearts along the shoe and see how close you are.
Conversation hearts are not only fun to eat, but they are fun to learn with too. Give these fun math activities a try and see how easy and inexpensive it can be to teach these essential concepts. You are sure to have a great time, as is your child!