Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to give your kids a fun and engaging math activity. There are a number of themed activities and math worksheets available through a quick Internet search. Here's how you can use these resources to give the kids a math lesson that they'll enjoy. You can create a number of other fun activities to bring out the inner_mathematician in a child. For example, if you want to teach kids about the basic ideas of volume and surface area, then Valentine's Day could really lend a hand. Fill three glass jars that differ in size with some heart_shaped candy. Ask the kids to estimate how many sweet treats they think each jar contains. The candy could also help children practice their ability to make tallies, data charts and graphs. Using heart_shaped candy of different colors, ask your child to tally how many of each color there are. You could even use one of the themed math worksheets to help. Once they have created a total for each color, ask your child to compile the totals into a bar chart. If you are feeling kind, then the candy can become a generous reward for the hard work that they've done.
If you do want to produce your own worksheets and don't have the Microsoft software, you can download free tools like OpenOffice or use an online word processor or spreadsheet such as the free Google Docs which help you do similar tasks. You just need to create a table with as many rows and columns as you need and then type in some numbers before printing it off for your children to practice _ depending on the level of complexity choose single digits or multiple digits. If you're not sure what level to start at, aim low, start with easy numbers and see how your child goes, the self_esteem boost they'll get from acing the first worksheet will give them confidence for more difficult math problems.