10 Activities that Boost Your Pre-School Aged Child’s Math Skills
March 24, 2013 | in Nannies
By Erin McNeill
Your pre-school aged child has a brain much like a sponge; it absorbs nearly every single thing you say or do throughout the day with them. Why not take advantage of your time with them and provide mathematical learning opportunities for your child while having fun at the same time?
- Count with them – Count everything! Cereal, books, game spaces, cars, days of the month, letters that arrived in the mail and birds on the fence are all great opportunities for counting! Sing songs that involve counting, read books that use numbers and teach them rhymes that incorporate math. Doing these activities with your child will help them learn how numbers work and how many each number represents.
- Measurement – Have your child compare the height of two towers next to each other, making observations about which one is taller. Ask them questions about how many more blocks you will need to make the shorter tower as tall as the bigger one. Encourage them to make their own observations and ask their own questions.
- Patterns – Find patterns in your daily lives and ask your child what the next object in the pattern would be. You can produce simple patterns at home through coloring, cutting out shapes, beading or by using blocks. Have them create their own patterns and then ask them what comes next.
- Analyze data – Help your child sort objects by color, size or shape and then have them count each category and record it together. Create a graph to represent the data and have your child help color it in. Discuss your findings together. Once they have mastered objects, have them move on to creating a survey to find out the interests of those around them. They could investigate how many people like each color, the number of pets in a family or the favorite ice cream flavor of the class. Make sure you graph this data as well!
- Cooking – Use cooking as a teaching tool! Teach your child to measure liquids and solids using measuring cups and talk about wholes and halves. Discuss quantity with your child by counting items out together as you need them. Children love to bake, so it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss measurement!
- Shapes – Start with shape recognition during your daily activities by simply discussing the shapes of various items. Have your child build with shapes and compare those shapes to things in everyday life. By comparing shapes of different sizes, your child will soon learn that a big triangle and a small triangle are both still triangles.
- Math language – Use math language throughout the day. Talk about what you have more or less of using food on their plate, game pieces, coins or blocks.
- Spatial relations – Play games with your child to introduce the concepts of being behind, in front of, near and far other objects or people. Have your child stand behind the couch, then have him move in front of the ball. Have him go near the stairs and far from the kitchen.
- Play number games – Put cut out or printed out numbers on the floor and encourage your child to run to each number that you sound out. Once they grasp this concept, relate the numbers to other things in life, like the ages of family members, the number of pets in the house, the number of paintings on the wall and the number of rugs in a room.
- Make math real – Incorporate math skills into your daily lives. Count boxes of cereal in the cart while shopping, count red cars while walking in the park and compare the sizes of the buildings around you.
As an adult, you use math on a daily basis, so why not teach your child to do the same? Math activities for the pre-school child can be as simple or as complex as you make them, but be sure to engage your child in math skills daily.← How to Help Your Kids Adjust to a New Caregiver | 10 Rules All Nannies Should Follow →
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