Discover Math All Around Us

math games: see math in nature by counting segments in a pinapple
math games promesa academy ambika dani

Let me start by admitting and owning that I’m a bit of a math geek—sometimes I find myself up until three or four in the morning working on a brain teaser, and I absolutely love playing strategic board games that require me to think quantitatively. As I think back on how I developed this love for math, I attribute so much to my home and school experiences when I was a young child. The beauty about math is that it pervades our lives, we are often just oblivious to it.

I hope that the ideas below inspire you to explore mathematics through nature, puzzles, and games with your child this summer as you help them develop or strengthen their love for math!

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.


Games are such an amazing way to strengthen your child’s math skills while having fun! I remember playing Monopoly at a young age and my dad would prompt me to think about creative ways to jump around the board without having to count out each step when I rolled the dice. I started to notice that the railways were exactly 5 steps away from the ends and started to decompose the rolls in my head as I moved my piece. There are so many wonderful questions you can ask your child while playing games like Monopoly that help them think more critically and practice foundational math skills. Here are examples of other games (for a range of ages, including adults) that lend themselves beautifully to mathematical conversations: Set (ages 3+), Blockus (ages 5+), Monopoly Deal (ages 8+), Settlers of Catan (ages 8+).

In addition to these board games, here are some sites where you can find additional games that you can play with simple materials that can be found at home: Games for Young Minds and Math for Love.


I remember the first time I was introduced to Fibonacci sequence and was so excited to discover the many ways that it shows up in our natural world—including on a pineapple! It can feel almost magical to young children and even to adults that so much of our natural world can be modeled by mathematics. Here’s a great article with some connections between math and nature for you to start sharing with your little one!


There’s nothing like the satisfaction of figuring out a brainteaser on your own. Brainteasers are such a great way to get your whole family involved in rich mathematical discussions and to get your kids thinking creatively and critically. One of my favorite books is the The Moscow Puzzles. With 359 puzzles (approachable by all ages), you have enough to do one a day for almost an entire year!

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Ambika Dani’s interview with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats.

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.

About the Author

Ambika Dani has been teaching math since she was 14 years old and is currently in the process of founding a new charter school, Promesa Academy, set to open this August on San Antonio’s Westside. She is passionate about educational equity and creating engaging learning experiences for children that help them develop a lifelong love of learning. Fun fact—she’s travelled to six of the seven continents and lived in seven different countries!