Math is an everyday part of our lives. It’s all around us – patterns, measurements, shapes, counting and making comparisons. Did you know that a child’s academic achievement can be predicted by their math knowledge when they start of kindergarten? It is crucial to take advantage of teachable moments to develop math learning or pre-numeracy skills. Fortunately, there are many opportunities throughout the day to explore math concepts.
Here are my favorite ideas to add math to your child’s day:
- Ask your child to estimate. This could be how many grapes they will eat, how many points they will score or how much something will cost.
- Cook together following a recipe and using measurements.
- Say rhymes, sing songs and read books that involve counting (Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish).
- Point out numbers and number symbols in books, on signs and even on license plates.
- Use a countdown before starting a game or getting ready for bed (10, 9, 8 …). Be sure to include zero.
- Use your fingers for counting, adding and subtracting.
Children will learn the meaning of numbers when they are developmentally ready. Many young children will say numbers, but they don’t understand the concept. This is referred to as rote counting. One-to-one correspondence is when a child points to each object as they count. The child then has an understanding that numbers correspond to specific quantities. “Cardinality” is knowing that the last number counted is equal to the quantity. This is when your child counts eight marbles and when asked how many there are, they respond eight.
Counting Books & Games
Below are books I recommend that involve counting. You can also make any book a counting book by stopping and counting the items on the page. Miss Humblebee’s Academy is a great resource for kindergarten readiness games. All you need is a library card to start playing.