Math skills are one of the most important things we can teach our children at an early age. Early exposure to math and math concepts can have a big impact on a child’s skill levels later in life. Learning math can help a toddler to develop the ability to solve problems. This is so essential to success in school and life in general. As a parent, you will find that your preschooler is naturally curious and already interested in math as it relates to his or her everyday life. The best way to teach your child valuable math skills is through every day hands-on activities, tasks, and games.
5 Tips for helping your toddler learn math skills
1 Count together. Counting everything together with your pre-school child is a great way to get started. Children love to count, so make a habit of counting all the time. Count crayons in the box, tiles on the kitchen floor, pictures on the wall and bananas in the bunch. Teach them to recognize and read numbers as they learn to count.
2 Make snack time a fun learning experience. Snack time is a great way to practice counting and other math skills. Your toddler will love counting the number of cheddar goldfish or animal crackers in a bowl. Teach addition and subtraction by adding a few or taking some away and having them count the new total.
3 Use toys and playtime to help your pre-school child count and sort. You can do the same with toys as snacks. Count, sort and categorize. How many matchbox cars are in the box? How many are blue? If we took away all of the blue matchbox cars, how many cars are left? The same can be done with blocks, dolls, or whatever your child likes to play with. Sort by color, type or whatever interests them. Combine categories or remove items to help with adding and subtracting. It’s always important to keep it fun. Playtime isn’t all about building math skills, but when made into a game it can be enjoyable. Board games and other games can also be learning tools. Moving a certain number of spaces on a board or following the “Simon Says” directions of jumping four times can be learning opportunities as well. So can more or fewer games, sequencing games and building and counting blocks.
4 Use regular daily activities as teaching opportunities. Keep it simple and keep it fun. How many steps do we climb to get to the second floor or how many squares are on the sidewalk in front of the house? Make laundry time teaching time. How many socks are in the basket? Ask your toddler to sort the clean socks and put them into pairs. Sorting objects, putting them into different categories and then counting them again. The simple task of sorting and counting laundry can help a toddler develop problem-solving skills. Even setting the table can be a math skill learning opportunity for your child. It will help your child understand the one to one concept of one fork, one knife, one spoon, etc. for each person. Cook together and teach your child how to measure ingredients. It’s a great bonding experience, as well as a math lesson. Finally, make grocery shopping a teaching experience. Have your child help with simple shopping tasks. Ask them to put six apples in a bag for you or pick out five cans of soup. Teach strategic counting. How many Cheerios boxes do you see on the shelf? If you’re paying with cash, let them help you count out coins. They’ll love helping and learn to love math at the same time.
5 Help your child learn important math concepts. Math is about more than just counting. It’s learning concepts such as quantity (more or less), measurement and size (taller, shorter, bigger, smaller). This will help your child develop mathematical reasoning skills. Shapes and patterns are important as well. Learning and naming shapes and identifying patterns is fundamental to a child’s understanding of math. Practice recognizing shape, such as a square post-it note, a triangle-shaped slice of pizza, a cracker that looks like a rectangle, etc.
Enroll your child in preschool and let the learning continue
Building Blocks Learning Center has preschool and daycare locations in Wilkes-Barre, Mountaintop and Dallas, PA. Our program provides an age-appropriate education curriculum that can help your preschooler excel. Building Blocks pre-k program will help prepare them for the transition to kindergarten. Learn more about all of our childcare and educational programs on our website.