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Your Four Year Old Can Understand Square Numbers

Square numbers are super easy.

Do you think I’m nuts?  “Square numbers?  Don’t you have to know about multiplication and square roots and…Eeeek!”

Actually, all you need are crackers. 

I bet your four-year-old could tell you which number is square.

Is 5 square?  No!

Is 6 square?  Nope!

7 isn’t a square either.

Neither is 8.

But look! 9 makes a square. It’s a square number!

If we were to keep building (which would require a lot of crackers) then we would see something like this.

The next square number is going to be 16.

Children who are learning about multiplication can also learn the corresponding equations that go with each square number.

1 x 1 = 1, 2 x 2 = 4, 3 x 3 = 9, 4 x 4 = 16  et cetera

So do you believe me now?

Square numbers are super fun!

(Don’t you wish you learned math this way?)

Math Boot Camp for Moms, Day 3

Square Numbers With Crackers

Do you want to feel like a math hero? Try teaching your kids about square numbers in a way that actually makes sense to them. All you need is a box of square crackers.

It turns out that this is easier said than done in our household. Yesterday I purchased a special box just for this activity, but my husband almost polished off the whole box last night watching Nova. Argh!

The way this works is that you use the crackers to build numbers. Ask your kids if they notice anything special about the numbers 1 and 4. They are square!

Is 5 a square? No!

Is 6 a square? No, it’s a rectangle.

7 isn’t a square either.

Neither is 8.

But look! 9 makes a square. It’s a square number.

If we were to keep building (which would require a complete box of crackers) then we would see something like this. The next square number is going to be 16.

Children who are learning about multiplication can also learn the corresponding equations that go with each square number. 1 x 1 = 1, 2 x 2 = 4, 3 x 3 = 9, 4 x 4 = 16 As the teacher, you can make this activity as advanced or as simple as the needs of your child requires. Just be sure to hide the box of crackers from your husband. 🙂