Fractions are an essential part of math curriculum for students of all ages. However, many students struggle with fractions, and, let’s be honest, fractions aren’t the easiest thing for teachers to teach either. But never fear! Fractions don’t have to cause a struggle for you or your students if you introduce a few fun activities into your math lessons.

Here are some fun, hands-on ideas to get you started!

## 1. Use dough

Dough is a great tool for fine motor skill development, but it is also useful when teaching fractions. Give each student a ball of dough and have them flatten it. Call out some fractions, such as one-half or one-fourth, and have them use a plastic knife to cut their dough to show each fraction.

## 2. Cut paper plates

Have your students decorate several paper plates to look like their favorite kind of pie or cake. Then cut the plates into various fractions, such as into two pieces for halves. You can do several activities once the plates are cut. Give your students examples of fractions and they have to find the corresponding pie. For example, you could say one-third, and your students will need to find their pie cut into thirds and hold up one piece. Your students can also play this game with partners or in small groups. You might also have your students label each part with the corresponding fraction.

## 3. Have a snack

Kids love snacks! Use that to your advantage by teaching fractions with food. Provide your students with some paper labels of the fractions you’re working on and then have them sort foods, such as pre-sliced fruit, into groups so they match each fraction label.

## 4. Sort small items

Decide what fraction you need your students to work on and then provide work mats with circles divided into that number of sections. Provide small items, such as cereal, novelty erasers, or beads, and have your students show you what fractions look like if they are sorted into groups. This lesson can also help reinforce different fractions that are actually equal.

## 5. Fold paper

One of the easiest activities to teach fractions only requires regular paper! Simply give your students several pieces of blank paper and have them fold them into equal parts. Once folded, your students can label each section to visually represent each fraction. Make it even more fun by assigning a different color of paper to each fraction so your students have another way of visually recognizing and identifying fractions.

## 6. Play dominoes

Dominoes are perfect for learning and practicing fractions because they are already divided in half, which looks just like fractions. Your students can use dominoes to translate the dots into numerical fractions and then identify whether the fractions are proper or improper. The lesson can go further for older students because they can turn the improper fractions into their proper form.

## 7. Draw with sidewalk chalk

Take your math class outside and practice drawing fractions with sidewalk chalk. You can do this in two ways. Give your students a fraction, such as one-fourth, and have them draw a picture depicting that fraction. Another option is to show them the picture of a fractional part and have them write the numerical equivalent. Partner your students up and have them give each other fraction quizzes, allowing them to draw or write their answers with sidewalk chalk.

## 8. Write story problems

Story problems are an essential part of any math curriculum, and you don’t have to stop using them when you get to fractions. In fact, having your students write their own story problems is an effective way to help cement the concept of fractions in their brains. Make it even more fun (and let them do your grading for you) by asking your students to switch papers and solve each other’s word problems.

## 9. Make some pizza

This is one of those fractions activities that’ll make you hungry! Paper pizza can be (almost) as enjoyable as actual pizza – and it can help your students learn their fractions. Give each student a blank paper pizza crust and have them divide it into a certain number of pieces, such as 4 or 6. Then have them use paper to create toppings for their pizza. Explain that each slice of their pizza has to be different than the other slices. When they are done making their pizza, they can write down what fraction of the pizza has pepperoni or black olives.

## 10. Play with Legos

All kids love Legos, and they lend themselves well to learning fractions. Ask your students to make a stack of Legos using two colors and then have them identify which fraction of their tower is each color. Students can sort the Legos into piles depending on the number of studs on each block to show fractions. A block with eight studs, for example, can be considered a whole while a block with four studs would be one-half. Also, check out this list of 18 outstanding math activities with Lego.

## 11. Use paint chips

Paint chips are a low-prep way to teach and practice fractions. A quick trip to the home improvement store is all it takes to get this lesson ready to go. Grab a stack of several paint chips – most are separated into three or four sections. Have your students label each section of the paint chip with one-third or one-fourth. Extend the lesson and have students draw a picture and write the words for each fraction.

## 12. Name fractions

Have each student draw and decorate their name in large letters however they would like. Then ask students to draw boxes under each letter of their name and write a fraction of what each letter is compared to how many letters are in their name. For example, for a five-letter name, each letter would be one-fifth. Challenge students to then write down what fraction of their name is consonants and what fraction is vowels. Older students should reduce any unsimplified fractions. Partner your students up and see if they can come with some addition problems to go with their fractions.

When fractions are fun, you’ll get more buy-in from your students, which will make it more enjoyable for everyone. Even better, these hands-on activities will show your students the fractions in the real world around them.