Archives For February 2016

Do you remember the days when your dad would offer you £1 to wash his car? What about being allowed to play outside, but only if you’d finished all your greens?

Motivating children through rewards isn’t anything new, but in the age of technology, how we go about setting these rewards can look different than it used to. Mobiles and tablets now play a bigger role than ever in children’s lives, and it’s important to make sure we’re getting the most out of technology for the benefit of our kids.

Whilst as parents and teachers we see the motivation of using DoodleMaths as being the improvement of maths ability and the bettering of a child’s future, we have to remember that a child’s personal goals may be a little bit more short term than that! For instance, they may not be thinking ahead to their fulfilling career as an engineer or a professor, but what they will be thinking is how to earn enough DoodleStars to buy their pet the latest accessory. This encourages them to complete their tasks daily, and motivates them to engage with the app.

Our friends over at Screen Time also understand the benefits of rewards for children. Using their app, a parent can decide on tasks that their child needs to complete, and what they will receive when these tasks are done. So let’s say that it’s practically impossible to see the floor in little Timmy’s room thanks to his afternoon of playing with every single toy he owns (we’ve all been there!). As Timmy’s parent, we can set a Screen Time task, ‘Clean your room’, with the reward being 15 mins of tablet time. Not only can we as parents see him complete this in real-time with the handy notifications, but the app also tracks which apps are on the tablet, making it extremely simple to stop them from being used at the touch of a button or the end of a timer.

Both apps work alongside parent/teacher needs in a way that helps the child stay motivated, and take ownership of what needs to be done in order to gain a reward.


While the children may be off school for a week, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still be keeping their minds active. Inspired by Rob Eastaway’s Maths on the Go, here are 5 ways you can keep the kids both occupied and learning:


  1. On your marks, get set, bake! When making a cake, ask your child to help you with measuring out ingredients. If you need to measure 450 grams of flour for your cookies, ditch the measuring glass and give your child a 200 ml mug, and let them work out how much they need to scoop out. If you need 100 grams of yoghurt for a recipe, what percentage of the tub do they need to spoon in?


  1. Got any loose change? Ask your child to make you £1 out of the coins in your purse, and then encourage them to find a different way to make the same amount. They can also work out how much change you have total, and how much you’d need to reach a set figure.


  1. How many shapes can you see? When out and about, draw your child’s attention to surrounding buildings and landmarks and encourage them to spot the shapes used to make them. A perfect opportunity to work on both 2D and 3D shapes.


  1. Remember how much fun could be had with a Spirograph? Get some basic shapes with a regular pencil for your kids to fill in, then let them get creative. Try to give them as much freedom as possible (while making sure any pointy bits are safely handled) – it’s okay to be a little messy with the figures, your children will find out soon enough how to make the most of what they’ve got.


  1. Are we there yet? For those long car journeys, make sure the tablets are fully charged and get your children to work their way through DoodleMaths tasks. The app doesn’t need to be connected to the internet for them to power their way through and earn plenty of DoodleStars!


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