Mathematical Mind Games

Dear Dr. Linda,

Over the past few weeks you’ve been writing about games to play with our kids to help with memory. As a senior citizen living in a condo with other seniors, we’ve enjoyed these games just as much. Do you have any type of game to play to help us use our minds that have to do with math?

Retired Teacher

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Dear Retired Teacher,

Here’s a fun activity that not only helps with memory but also with creativity. Take this list of measurement terms. Can you remember the conversions? For example, 12 inches equals one foot or 3 feet equals one yard. Then think of something that can be used as an example to illustrate what is about that length, capacity or weight. For example, 12 inches or one foot is the size of a big sub or hero sandwich. To illustrate the length of one minute, sing the “Star Spangled Banner”!

First, see how many conversions you can remember. Then brainstorm with your family or friends to come up with fun ways to illustrate the various measurements. Be creative—don’t use a quart of milk to illustrate a quart. That’s a no brainer. Use your brain to come up with something novel. For example, a centimeter is about the same length as a small watermelon seed.

  1. ___ inches = 1 foot. For example:
  2. ___ feet = 1 yard. For example:
  3. ___ teaspoons = 1 tablespoon. For example:
  4. ___ ounces = 1 cup. For example:
  5. ___ cups = 1 pint. For example:
  6. ___ pints = 1 quart. For example:
  7. ___ quarts = 1 gallon. For example:
  8. ___ ounces = 1 pound. For example:
  9. ___ feet = 1 mile. For example:
  10. ___ millimeters = 1 centimeter. For example:
  11. ___ centimeters = 1 meter. For example:
  12. ___meters = 1 kilometer. For example:

Have fun!

Dr. Linda

Answers: 1) 12   2) 3   3) 3   4) 8  5) 2   6) 2  7) 4   8) 16   9) 5,280 10) 10  11) 100  12) 1,000

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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