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Activity Books

There are a wide range of activity books on the market designed to help children practise maths at home. However the standard varies widely. Some concentrate on attractive layout so much that the amount of maths is fairly small. Others cram sums into every corner without much effort to interest their readers. The best can provide useful practise provided the maths they contain is the right level for your child.

Mental Maths (Success at School series)
(Ladybird)
Instead of putting the answers at the back of these books, Ladybird has printed them on the tests themselves in pale green on a red patterned background. This makes them very hard (but no quite impossible) to read without the special red number-spotter built into the cover. This clever technique adds a level of fun to the tests and allows them to be used more than once. The books in the series are graded and have a suggested age range on the front. Use a sticker to cover this up for older children who may be offended.
Buy 5+ from Amazon   
Buy 6+ from Amazon  
Buy 7+ from Amazon

Secret Maths series
(Buster Books)
This series of maths activity books features a secret agent on the front cover and a special "secret solver spyglass" to read the answers which are on each page. This is similar to the system in the Labybird series above, but it works better. It doesn't use colour and is impossible for the naked eye to read. The books are aimed at 5-7 year olds and are divided by topic rather than ability. This means that, although the books are fun for those at the top end of the age range, less able and younger children may find they can't answer all the questions.
Buy Secret Times Tables from Amazon
Buy Secret Adding from Amazon
Buy Secret Subtracting from Amazon
Buy Secret Maths Quiz from Amazon

Football Maths
by Don Shaw and John Shiels
(Oxford University Press)
This well thought out series of books gives all the maths activities a football theme. These include counting footballs, ordering players by the numbers on their shirts, working out possible routes to the goal and shopping in the souvenir shop. The maths is sound with strong emphasis on mastering the basic number bonds (2+3, 5+7 etc) but weaker readers will need help with the instructions. These books will appeal to a wide age range including older children who find maths difficult.

Buy from Amazon Orange Strip NC level 1-2
  Purple Strip NC level 2
  Green Strip NC level 2-3
  Yellow Strip NC level 3
  Red Strip NC level 4
  Blue Strip NC level 5
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