July 1, 2022
Even toddlers use math on a daily basis. They notice how big their friend’s cookie is compared to the one you gave them. They’ll tell you when their brother’s blocks are taller than theirs, and most toddlers can walk up or down steps while counting them!
Before your child enters school, there are many ways you can help to grow their early math skills. Here are a few:
Counting: Kids love to count everything! Help your child learn to count accurately by showing them the ways counting relates to real life. When your child asks to help you set the table, use this as an opportunity to say, “There are five people in our family, so we will need five plates: one, two, three, four, five.” Then count how many piece of food are on everyone’s plate! Help your child make math ideas “real” by using words, pictures, symbols and objects.
Shapes: Talk about the shapes and sizes of things. Discuss how much space things take up and what direction they move in (up, down, left, right, under, and over).
Measuring: Cooking is a great way to introduce the concept of measurement. Count out the number of eggs you’ll need and fill a cup size of water. Let your child help you prepare the ingredients empty them in the bowl as you count together.
Guessing how much: Help your child learn to make good guesses about the amount or size of things. This is very hard to do at first. Help your child by using words like more, less, bigger, smaller, more than, and less than. Your child must first understand words about size in order to make guesses. Questions that make comparisons will help your child begin to understand amounts (for example, “Whose plate has more grapes?”).
Patterns: Patterns are numbers, shapes and images that repeat. Patterns help children understand what comes next. Your child might have already started to notice patterns and it’s your job to encourage them to spot patterns in their everyday life.
Practice Problem-Solving: Remember the first time your child tried to fit a triangle in a shape sorter? It’s most likely much easier for them now because they have had experience that can now help them in similar situations. Remind them of strategies that worked before (or suggest some to try) but resist the urge to take over!
How to help your child learn math skills the fun way!
Content created in partnership with