**Think about it**
When was the last time you used ratio to explain comparison of two quantities?
I did yesterday. I was explaining to a friend how she has to take 3 cups of one dal for every 2 cups of rice. In ratio terms, I told her that the mix (of dal and rice) has to be in a ratio of 3:2.
If you notice, all of us use ratios quite frequently. Maybe, we don’t exactly say 3:2 or 3 is to 2 but what we want to depict is ratio.
This makes it extremely important for our children to understand and use the concept accurately.
So, I started working on activities that can help me teach ratios to my kids. If you have been reading this blog regularly, you would know my munchkin won’t show any interest in learning unless it is gamified.
In this post, we will discuss 5 activities that can help you teach (or introduce) ratio to kids who are above 1st grade level.
1. Cook with kids regularly
Routine activities (like, cooking or watching TV) can be fun and kids won’t even feel like they are learning something.
In the activity #1, we will use cooking to introduce and teach the concept of ratios.
While I did this for an entire week (because holiday season was going on and my kid had lots of time before the next session), you can do it over the weekends if you like.
Make a list of 7-8 recipes which your kid loves to eat and involves some kind of ratios. For example, one of my recipes was Idly. So, I asked my kid to take dal and rice in the ratio of 1:3. When he asked me what I meant, I told him for every 1 cup of dal you have to take 3 cups of rice.
Similarly, we baked cakes and cookies along with cooking chillas, dosa, spring roll etc.
You know what is great about this activity? Kids are excited to play with dough, cookie makers, etc and they get to feast on their favorite meal at the end.
And, you are happy because you have taught them how ratios work (or means).
2. Rapid fire with picture strip
So, this is inspired by the game on Teachespayteachers.
For this activity, you will need
- Paper strips
- Different colored pens
Take each paper strip and draw various objects on it. For example, three ice cream cones and two toffees. You don’t have to go overboard with the drawing, just simple objects.
If you are not good at drawing (or do not have the time to draw), you can create the strips using paint or word on your computer/laptop. Print them out and cut the strips.
Ensure that the picture strips are colourful and attractive. Kids love ‘em!
Mix up all the strips. Now, your kid will have to pick up as many strips as possible and answer them (tell you in ratio or write it down) within a given time frame. You can start with 2 minutes time frame and as they start getting a hang of the concept, decrease the time frame to 1 minute.
If you can play this activity with more than one kid, you can have a healthy competition between the two. After all, kids perform better when they compete with peers.
3. Ask routine question
This is one of my favorites because you can do this any time of the day.
When we watch football together, I ask him to tell me the scores in ratios. For example, I will tell him that the total goals were 10, tell me the ratio of goals for the teams. So, he tells me 6:4 (10 in total).
Similarly, when we go to the playground or temple, we count the number of children and he tells me the ratio of girls to boys.
YouTube is my go to place to find interesting songs, games and videos to teach. I searched for ratios and found quite a few interesting ones. Here is one of them –