It doesn’t need to be difficult to introduce math concepts to your child. We use math language every day without even realizing it. This includes using size comparison words such as ‘big’ or ‘little’, and counting how many utensils we need to serve a family meal.
These are some fun (and easy) ways to teach math skills with your child. You can talk with your child about math skills and start to think about it.
Point to the shapes
Talk to your child about the shapes that you see. Perhaps you see a square sign or a round stone as you walk along the streets. “Look! That door is a red rectangle!” This will help your child when they begin geometry in school.
It’s worth it
To count out loud, find small objects such as beads or shells. “Look! “Look! Let’s make three piles with three buttons. This is a great way for children to learn about numbers and operations (addition/subtraction, multiplication, division). To learn how to count, you don’t need only objects. You could also practice counting with your child by asking them to count how many steps they take and how many times they clap.
Play a sorting board game
Recognizing patterns and relationships is a foundation for later learning equations. Playing a sorting game around the house with objects can help your toddler to grasp these concepts in a fun way. Let’s place the red lentils and the green lentils into one basket. You can also arrange the objects in a pattern. Let’s make a row with lentils: red green green red green.
Enjoy your time in the kitchen
Your child will enjoy cooking together, which is a great way to learn about measurement and counting. As you cook your masterpiece, make sure you give them age-appropriate tasks. Show them how to measure rice and talk about how much rice is needed for your meal. If you are making a snack, count the food items on your plate. “There are one to two, three, and four berries in our snack.”
Construct a tower
Young children can learn how to stack objects and what the relationships are between different sizes. You can use empty boxes, cartons, blocks or any other child-safe items around your house to build a tower. Discuss how the pieces fit together and why the tower fell. You’ll be amazed at how high you can reach!
Compare and contrast
Pay attention to the differences in sizes between objects. This can be done in a market or at a food store. Ask your child to name the item that they think is bigger or smaller. This will help your toddler develop spatial awareness and measurement skills.