It’s never too early to develop math skills. After all, math is all around us, whether counting our change or estimating the time required to complete a journey. However, despite its importance, this subject still lacks the much-needed attention it deserves from educators and parents at an early stage. This is probably why, as kids grow up, they find math extremely daunting and end up running away from the subject.
It’s time to change that. Parents must focus on their kids’ early math skills to promote their working memory, increase attention span and enhance basic cognitive skills. In fact, the math skills a child learns at the preschool level predict their future academic performance in math and other subjects.
We have listed a few simple yet engaging activities that will help your child develop a strong foundation of math skills. So, read on.
Count Everyday Objects
Before your child starts learning complex number sequences, they need a basic understanding of numbers. The best way to do so is by counting everyday objects. Make your child count the apples you put in the basket, the buttons on their shirts, the pencils in their box, the cars on the street, the stairs on the front door etc. Start with small numbers and add a few when they get the hang of it.
Play Board Games That Involve Numbers
Children love board games, so use this to your advantage. Simple board games like Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land are fun to play and involve numbers. Play them with your preschooler and ask them to recognize the number on the dice and count the moves. You can increase the difficulty level by using two dice instead of one.
Identify the Shapes in Your Surroundings
Learning shapes is also an important math skill that preschoolers need to develop. You can help your child learn shapes by identifying the different ones in your surrounding, such as the rectangles in mobile phones, the circles in the clocks, the squares in the windows etc. Ask them to identify the different shapes and explain how one shape differs from the other. For instance, triangles have three corners, while a circle has none.
Sing Math Songs
Music is an amazing way to learn new concepts. Try incorporating songs and poems with numbers and operations in them. This will make learning math an entertaining activity. Here are some songs that you can learn and sing along with your child:
- The Ants Go Marching, to help your child learn to count
- The Hands On The Clock Song to help them learn to see time
- Big Animals, to help them learn sizes and measurements
- Secret Agent Shapes, to help them identify and learn shapes
Guess Weights at the Supermarket
Make your trip to the supermarket fun and informative. Take your child along and ask them to guess the weight of every item you pull from the shelf. For instance, ask them if they think the watermelon is heavier or the packet of chips. Add similar questions. This would teach them the concept of weight.
Believe it or not, math can be fun! Ensure your children learn their early math skills in the most exciting and fun ways possible so they do not end up hating the subject. Incorporate the above activities in their learning process and see a difference for yourself.