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Estimation is an important math skill because it allows for a reasonable guess before something is actually measured or counted. Coming “close enough” to the actual number is a real accomplishment, and part of higher quantitative thinking. Developing your child’s sense of estimation goes beyond school math—it’s a life skill.
As adults we are constantly estimating. How long will it take to get there? Do I have enough coins for the parking meter? Will that size sweater fit Dad?
Here are some great ideas for fun estimating during the summer, using common household items to help your child become a good at it.
Start simply with one or two of these items. Then mix it up any way you and your child would like.
Items that can be used include:
Use any of the items above to present a question that needs solving, such as:
After your child has estimated how many items are needed to complete a task, or how long something takes, count and work the solutions out together.
Estimation is important for critical thinking and reasonable responses. Have fun practicing because the more young children can refine their estimation skills, the higher they develop number sense.