De-Mystifying Math: 7 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (ages 3-6)

7 Tips for Supplementing your Child's Math Education (Age 3-6) | #math #learning #education #kids #supplement


Whether your child attends public school, a charter school, uses private school or tutoring or is homeschooled, you probably already know how important it is to reinforce classroom learning at home. Fortunately, there’s an overabundance of information online to help you teach your little ones at home, especially during the summer, BUT where do you start?

Math especially is often difficult for young children to grasp since it deals in abstracts.  Supplemental math education doesn’t have to be tricky.

Here are 7 super useful tips for applying Math concepts to your home life:


1.  Always consider the individual. 

We all know that everyone learns in different ways.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information each style.  Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz


2. Appeal to his/her interests.

If you want your child to enjoy learning with you, you’ll need to make it fun for them.  Pay attention to their hobbies and likes, be it cars, drawing, singing, dressing up, collecting leaves or what have you.  Use these to create learning experiences that coincide with things they already love.


3. Keep it simple.

The best way to teach a young child is with hands on activities that don’t take a ton of resources or explanation.  Most of the time, your most successful teaching experiences will incorporate things you already have around the house and will require little planning on your part.


4. Keep it short.

Generally speaking, a young child can only focus on one learning activity for about 10-15 minutes at a time.  Don’t plan long or involved math lessons that take longer than this to accomplish, or you are sure to lose your child’s interest.  You can do multiple different math activities within a specific span of time, but they will each need to be short and simple.


5. Be hands-on

Whatever learning style your child prefers, math concepts tend to “stick” better when children can “handle” the things they’re learning about.  Allowing them to use their hands or bodies gives each abstract math idea more meaning.


6. Give math concepts an everyday application.

When you’re at the grocery store, you can have your child count out individual items (“I need four apples…) or help you use the scale.  They can also get a basic understanding of money if you let them pay and handle change.  When you’re walking to your car you can count steps.  Take giant steps and mini steps and talk about the difference in number.  While you drive, you can play “I Spy” with shapes.  At home, you can play sorting games with almost anything – folding socks, putting groceries away, etc. If you make math a part of everyday life, it won’t seem like a chore.


7. Most importantly, keep it fun! 

You don’t need worksheets to teach math! Use games, songs and rhymes, props/toys/manipulatives, and books!


DON’T FORGET: little learners need a functional, organized space to keep them engaged and attentive.  Check out these super organized school-related spaces on Remodelaholic!  Tons of easy to implement solutions to keep kids excited about learning!


* For more tips and ideas, check out these links!

Blog Me Mom – “Math Play” and “ABC’s of Math” series

Mom’s Heart – Living Math for Preschoolers


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning -

The human brain is blessed with a huge capacity for learning, especially during the childhood years. Unlock your children’s innate ability to teach themselves and ensure that they fall in love with the wonderful act of learning! Here’s a few tips you can use to encourage your kids to love learning.

tipsaholic - how to raise kids who love learning

1. Provide little (or no) instructions.

This sounds weird, but it works. Sergio Juárez Correa’s students (in Matamoros, Mexico) flourished when the teacher decided to take a different approach to teaching. For example, instead of showing students how to reach the correct answer to a math problem, he asked them how they would figure it out. And figure it out they did. These students went on to score the highest on the achievement test in the country.

Ideas of what you can do:

  • Give them a toy that has several functions (bleeps, flashes, rolls, etc) and just let them figure out how to play with it without showing them anything.
  • Hand them a tablet or a computer with a newly purchased app or game and let them explore.
  • Take your kids to a museum and let them guide you to whatever exhibits they want to see.
  • Give them a board game and let them teach themselves how to play.
  • Toys like the Bilibo don’t even come with instructions, so every kid plays with them in different ways. Hand them this cool toy and watch them create new ways to play!

2. Allow for lots of time for play.

Recess is generally thought of as a break from learning, but recent studies have shown that playing is actually vital for optimal brain development. Playing helps develop problem solving skills, creativity, stimulates curiosity, and more. This in turn helps children do better at school, learn better, and love learning.

Things you can do to encourage your kids to play more:

  • Host more play-dates at your home or at a playground.
  • Bring in more games of all kinds for your kids.
  • Engage in play with your kids whenever you can.
  • Rotate your kids’ toys so there’s always something “new” to play with.
  • Have your kids join an after-school program.

3. Let them teach themselves how to read.

This article claims that young children can teach themselves how to read, if they are allowed to do so. Different kids do it in different ways, but generally, parents of these children provide an environment in their homes that is conductive to reading. When young kids are able to read, they are able to teach themselves new things. They’ll love learning thanks to their love for reading.

Here’s what you can do to create a reading-friendly home:

  • Make lots of books available to your kids.
  • Take them to the library often.
  • Let kids see you reading books and enjoying it.
  • Don’t force kids into reading.
  • Read to them on a regular basis when they’re young.
  • Have them see you use a variety of reading materials to accomplish things, such as following instructions to complete a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.

Once a child loves to learn, they can teach themselves anything and there won’t be a limit to what they can do.


“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

10 Math Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love

10 Math Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love | #learning #kids #math #books #reading

If you’re in the market for different techniques to supplement your child’s school-taught math education at home, don’t overlook something you’re probably already doing!  Reading to your child encourages all kinds of skills – from letter and sound recognition to imagination to critical thinking and problem solving skills.  With the right kind of picture books, your 3-6 year olds will love learning about math concepts too! Check out these fun and entertaining math books.


1. Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Every other number is worth something, but when Zero looks at herself, all she sees is a big hole in her center.  If she could look like the other numbers, she’d count too.  This book is not only a lesson in personal worth, but a fun way to learn about numbers and counting.

2. One by Kathryn Otoshi

Blue is a quiet color who, for some reason, Red is always picking on.  Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do about it?  This combines learning about primary and secondary colors, as well as counting.  But it also teaches an important lesson about standing together and making a difference – even if you are only one.


3. My Very First Book of Numbers by Eric Carle

Do you know how many apples there are?  How many cherries?  This is a puzzle book in which the reader identifies the numeral and number of black boxes on the top half of the page and then matches this to the correct number of fruits shown on the bottom half of the page.  Colorful, vibrant, graphic and fun, this book makes number recognition, counting and matching a game!


4. I Spy Numbers by Jean Marzollo

This book uses simple picture clues and rhyming riddles to guide young children through learning about numbers, counting and simple math concepts.  It’s specifically geared to preschoolers and kindergarteners who will love all 12 of the bright, colorful, interesting spreads.


5. Rainbow Fish Counting by Marcus Pfister

Young children learn numbers 1-10 with dazzling illustrations of undersea creatures and plants, including the well-loved Rainbow Fish himself!  Bold numerals shown along with the appropriate sea creatures help with number recognition while appealing visually to a young audience.


6. Ten Apples Up On Top! by Theo LeSieg

This classic story introduces kids to three lovable characters who can perform all kinds of giggle-inducing tricks!  The Lion, dog and tiger discover that they can do a lot of fun things – from drinking milk to jumping rope and roller skating – all while balancing apples on their heads.  How many can they keep up?  Will they let them fall?  Kids love to count along.


7. How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Young readers love these familiar dino characters and their crazy antics!  They’re at it again, this time teaching kids to count from 1 to 10.  The pages are full of rhyming text and silly illustrations that are sure to capture attention.  It makes learning numbers and counting BIG fun!


8. Gobble, Gobble Crash! by Julie Stiegemeyer

It all starts with four naughty, noisy turkeys and soon the whole barnyard is awake!  Did they really intend to wake the farmer in the middle of the night as well??  Kids will find the illustrations hilarious as they count up to 10 and all the way back down in fun rhyming text.


9. The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Bored with his current situation, a triangle visits a local shapeshifter to have some alterations made.  Adding another angle makes him a quadrilateral!  But that’s just not enough for this greedy shape.  Children will love finding out what happens as the triangle adds angle after angle until he is completely transformed!  What a fun introduction to shapes and basic math concepts!


10. Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

Each page of this bright, vivid book reveals another shape clue about a creature from long ago.  The die-cut pages are full of attention-grabbing colors and shapes that come together in a large, fold-out page for the grand reveal.  Circles become eyes, triangles become scales… will your young reader deduce what awaits on the final page?


Also check out this list of 10 Language and Literacy Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love.


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)


6 Kids Crafts to Make the School Year Even Better

Nothing beats the squeak of new sneakers in the hallway and the smell of Poptarts on back-to-school mornings. Excitement in the first weeks of school can be found in every new pair of jeans and on the tips of every fresh crayon. But if your kids have settled in and suddenly become less than thrilled about leaving summer barbeques and weekends at the lake behind, surviving the rest of the school year can be a challenge. If you’re looking for a solution to the post-summer-blues, getting your kids’ creative juices flowing with these custom kids crafts might really make it happen.

Washi Tape School Supplies

Picture 1 of 7

(image via Unsophisticook)

Your kids will always know which #2s belong to them if you use this simple trick – and if you haven’t met a little something called washi tape yet, this is a great way to introduce yourself to its powers of versatility. Grab a few rolls (Amazon has a great selection!) and get the kids to work.

 6 Kids DIY Projects for Back to School via

1. Decorated School Supplies

Your kids will always know which #2s belong to them if you use this simple trick– and if you haven’t met a little something called washi tape yet, this is a great way to introduce yourself to its powers of versatility. Grab a few rolls (Amazon has a great selection!) and get the kids to work.


2. Customized Binders

If you picked up a couple of binders during your back-to-school shopping, your kids may have been less than impressed with the flat, single-color options that most stores carry. They may change their minds when they see what can be done when they really get their craft on.

If simplicity is your goal, a bit of bright patterned paper may be all you need. But don’t be afraid to go a step further and try colored duct tape, fabric, or even family photos!

If your child really wants to get expressive, a collage is another great way to go!


3. Personalized Pencil Boxes

And we can’t forget the everloving pencil box. That wonderful bit of plastic that leaves home in September filled to the brim with dazzling new crayons, freshly sharpened pencils, and unopened glue sticks… and returns at school’s end with nothing but broken bits of wax, a stub or two, and the dry, shriveled remains of that glue, along with whatever other horrors one collects in the classroom. But if you try this craft, at least it looks snazzy in the process.


4. Backpack Style

With all those great, personalized supplies, the kiddos are going to need something a bit more spectacular than your typical pack to haul them around. Take a look at these ideas for DIY custom backpacks!


5. Stylish Shoes

Two words: Canvas. Shoes. All the rage, right? And many of them come in plain colors – that’s a cool craft just waiting to walk the halls on your kid’s feet. Stripes, polka dots, rainbows, superheroes… the options are endless!


6. Candy

And when all else fails, bribe them with candy. You can always bribe a child with candy. Especially if there is a corny bit of wordplay you can stick to it.

Getting back into the swing of school days may be tough, but the mood can certainly shift when you pull out all the stops and get those little minds pumping with a craft or two. If nothing else, the kids will be excited to show off their new and totally custom supplies and accessories to all of their friends! Mission accomplished.

6 Easy Kids Crafts for Back to School via

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Back to School Photo Ideas


5 easy and fun ways to start a back to school photo tradition

As a photographer I’m always looking for fun and unique ways to capture the ‘story’ behind the moment the photo is taken, not just a pretty smile.  So this year I’ve been brainstorming how to create fun and unique first day of school photos for my daughter who’s headed to kindergarten and my son who will start preschool.  Here’s 5 fun ideas I’ve come up with:
  1. Perhaps the most popular idea out there is the one where your child holds a sign with the grade that they are entering printed on it, such as the one that I took of my daughter last year.  I simply printed off a sign from my computer but another trendy way of doing this is with a small chalkboard (such as this one).
  2. Take the picture as your child writes their name, be sure you can see the letters so that over the years you can see how their handwriting has changed.  If they can’t write their name yet just have them draw a picture.
  3. Take a photo of your child reading or holding up their favorite book at that moment.
  4. For the camera shy kiddo, get a shot of them (ideally with their backpack on) walking away from you (i.e. out the door, down the sidewalk, to the school bus etc).
  5. Shoes.  I love kids shoes, they just make me happy!  And they usually have an absolute favorite pair that they wear all day every day.  Get a picture in the same spot every year of their favorite shoes that they plan to wear on the first day of school.
Not a big fan of being behind the camera?  Many professional photographers offer ‘mini-sessions’ for a fraction of the price of a full session.  They typically last 20-30 minutes so a back to school photo with any of the ideas above is the perfect ‘mini-session’ idea.


Do you have any great back to school photo ideas?  Please share in the comments below.

Author: Jennifer Faris is a photographer, writer, mom of 3 littles and wife to a rock star (at least in her eyes). You can see more of her work at and follow her on FacebookPinterestInstagram.

Tips for Parents: Easing the Back-to-School Transition

Tips for Parents | Make the Back-to-School Transition Easier via #backtoschool #kids #simplify #tips

Summer is drawing to a close and school will be starting up again soon. We all know it’s challenging for kids to transition from the lazy days of summer back to the more stringent routines and responsibilities of school days. But it can be hard for parents, too. Here are some tips for making the back-to-school transition a little easier for everyone. (featured image via Real Simple)

7 Tips for Parents to Ease the Back-to-School Transition via


1) Supply inventory: Before you rush out to buy school supplies, check around the house for  pens, notebooks, paper, etc. leftover from last year’s supplies. You might be able to shorten or even eliminate a trip to the office supply store.


2) Checklists: Make checklists of must-do morning routine tasks for the kids (make bed, brush teeth, feed dog, etc.) and let them check each item off as it is completed. Going through the checklist each morning will help them establish a new routine and avoid any last-minute forgotten items.


3) Outfits: Over the weekend, help your child choose an outfit for each day of the coming week and set them out (grouped on hangers or in a labeled daily pile) in his/her room so there’s no agonizing or arguing over what to wear each morning.


4) Lunches: Pack lunch bags the night before so that each child can simply grab one on the way out the door.


5) Easy breakfast: Consider pre-making and stockpiling breakfast items that will require only minimal effort in the morning. Portioned baggies of instant oatmeal, yogurt cups, cut-up fruit and healthy muffins can help take the fuss out of eating a good breakfast before school – or on the go.


6) Family calendar: Start the schoolyear off right by using a wall or desk calendar to keep track of each family member’s schedule in one place (use a different color marker for each person). This can make it easier to visualize what each day’s activities will look like and who needs to be where and when.


7) Downtime: Don’t forget that part of planning the family calendar should include schedule some downtime for yourself as well as the kids.

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.