It's raining here with no signs of letting up -- what a perfect day to do some math! As a teacher, I absolutely love(d) the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) website called Illuminations. This site is full (absolutely exploding) with math games, ideas, objectives, activities for all ages and all math strands. If your child needs extra help in algebra, there's a game/activity. If geometry stumps your child, no problem -- they've got you covered. And, when I say all ages, I truly mean, all ages. We tend to think of Pythagorean theorem when we hear geometry, but don't forget that even preschoolers are practicing their geometry skills when they sort shapes and put them into patterns. I highly, highly recommend this site to fellow moms, dads, teachers, whomever. It's safe, free and educational.
Here's a screen shot of just one of the many activities: "Pan Balance - Shapes" -- a wonderfully rich activity that introduces kids to algebraic thinking without them even knowing it! You definitely want to read each activities rules and explanations before playing and as always, you want to make sure your child is properly supervised. This game's gist is as follows: I learn that 2 red squares are the same "weight" as 1 blue circle. In the next round, I learn that 2 red squares and 1 purple triangle are equivalent to 1 blue circle and 3 yellow diamonds. From there, I can continue to figure out the value of each shape. I get to pick which shapes I place on which of the two balances and deduce their values from the results. Amazing, isn't it?