# How to Teach Estimation: 10 Steps (With Pictures)

Estimating is an essential skill. It is a good idea to teach your child to estimate at an early age, so that they can understand it as soon as possible and begin to refine their skills. However, young children may have trouble with the concept. Fortunately, there are many ways to teach estimation to children, such as explaining the concept and using fun activities to use the skill.

## Steps

### Method 1 of 2: Explaining the Concept of Estimation

#### Step 1. Explain that estimating is like guessing

The concept of guessing is probably familiar to your child. Explain that estimating is similar, but the goal is to make educated guesses that are as accurate as possible. Teaching them how to estimate effectively will save you time and energy in situations where an exact number is not necessary.

#### Step 2. Give examples

If you pay attention, you will see estimation examples frequently in your daily life. For example, you could estimate how much the warehouse receipt will add up, how long it will take to drive somewhere, or how many cups of milk are left in the carton. Explain these examples to your child in a developmentally appropriate way.

### Giving you these examples can help explain why estimating rather than calculating is appropriate in a particular context. Tell your child, for example, that if you need to know exactly how much the warehouse receipt will add up, you can add up all the prices and get a precise number, but in this case, you just try to get an approximate number so as not to spend too much

#### Step 3. Use flashcards

To reinforce the concept, show your child a flashcard or picture with multiple objects on it: animals, toys, whatever your child likes. Show your child the card, but not enough to count the objects, then ask him to estimate the number. Give it a high score for close estimates. Repeat the game until your child seems to understand the concept.

### Method 2 of 2: Teaching Estimation Strategies with Fun Activities

#### Step 1. Focus on activities that interest your child

Every child is different, so tailor the activities to your child's particular interests. Do these fun activities. Children tend to have a lot of energy, but a minimal attention span, so it is important that the activities you choose entertain them.

#### Step 2. Teach visual isolation

Your child may have trouble filtering out unnecessary information and concentrating only on the target to be estimated. You can teach him this skill with simple games. For example, you can place red and blue balls on the ground, then ask your child to guess how many red balls there are (ignoring the blue ones).

#### Step 3. Play guessing games

You can have your child guess how many jelly beans are in a container, how many coins are in a jar, or how many marbles are in a box. Emphasize the need to estimate, not count, or calculate.

### There are also online games that help teach estimation. For example, your child can play "Guess it!" at https://www.theproblemsite.com/junior/estimation.asp, where Professor Puzzler will show various groups of colored dots, then remove them and ask for an estimate. This site will allow you to increase or decrease the amount of time the dots remain on the screen, you can also customize the game for your child

#### Step 4. Emphasize estimation vocabulary

Explain to your child that when a person estimates, they use words like “almost”, “about” or “more or less”. When you play guessing games, encourage your child to use these words and to construct sentences that reflect the estimate.

#### Step 5. Teach your child to develop strategies

Remind your child that estimating is not random guessing, but making educated predictions. Instead of saying random numbers, he or she should use visual cues to get as close as possible.

#### Step 6. Be persistent

Repetition is the key. Children need to practice these skills over and over to master them. Vary the activities so your child doesn't get bored, but don't tire of teaching him how to estimate.

#### Step 7. Reward your child's progress

Children will be more interested and motivated if you offer a prize. For example, if you play guessing games with gummies, you can give your child some to eat when he makes a good guess. If you use coins, let him keep them if he gets it right.