Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Math Starts Early

Math games for very young children
Here we used cupcake holders and pans to sort and count arts and craft items. On the bottom of the cupcake paper write a number. Have your kids sort out items from the craft table and drop the correct number into the holder. For example the number 3, we would drop 3 bells from the bell pile or number 2, drop 2 buttons from the button pile. Grouping and sorting are the fundamentals of all math skills! It's never to early to start.

Math games for toddlers are ever so practical! It's all about introducing mathematical concepts and relationships to infants - which really isn't so difficult, even if you're not the world's greatest math genius!
You're probably already chatting away to your little one about all the different things that are happening during the day. Which no doubt includes the following:
things that are bigger and smaller...
heavier and lighter
less and more
tall and short
big and little

- and this is probably the most important point: if you're involving your child in day-to-day activities and explaining what you're doing, there's almost no way you can avoid comparing things or describing things. Underneath it all, you're pointing out differences - which at a later age can be measured :)
Other math games for kids at this stage involve sorting activities. Grouping things together, separating them, pairing them up... think socks, fruit, toys, or candy!

These primary skills help with later skills like multiplication (2 groups of 3 = 2x3… 3rd grade here we come!)

Sort out the toys together - cars in that box, blocks in the block box, cuddly toys on the bed
Pair up the socks from the laundry basket - what a chore!
Sort those blocks into colors - then muddle them all up again! Then sort...then muddle... fun!
Point out shapes during the day. Find square things and round things.
How about some matching fun? Matching shapes using household items or toy shapes, or shape/play dough cut outs can develop into a fun game.
Or match numbers - use a mini whiteboard or chalkboard, and write a number - now your child has to copy it. Or draw a wiggly line or a straight line - and your child copies that. And so on. Then swap roles. See if your child notices if you draw it wrong!

Do this activities every day with your little ones and help make that transition into kindergarten easier!

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