boy counting on fingers

Preschool Math Activities: Fun Ways to Introduce Early Math Skills

We all know just how important it is to start reading to our kids from an early age. Early literacy helps kids build a love of reading, which is important for the rest of their school years. This is one of the many reasons your Silver Spring child care center includes storytime.

But it’s important not to forget about math, which is another important subject. Like reading, math is an important part of other studies, especially in the sciences. Studies have shown that being good at math early on is one of the best ways to predict success later on. If you’re anything like me, just hearing the word “math” makes you feel a little nervous. But the most important thing to know is that math in preschool is not the same as in elementary school or beyond.

Preschool math is both easy and fun. While caregivers at day care in Silver Spring, MD, know how to make math fun and exciting for young kids, not all parents do. Here are some fun things you can do with your young children at home to start introducing early math skills.

Cook with Kids

Your child can help with any kind of cooking, but baking is a great way to help them learn math. Ask them to help you find the cup or spoon you need. For example, if you need half a cup of flour, tell them to look for the cup with the numbers “1” and “2” on it.

They can see that different numbers mean different sizes and that the measurements are important for the cake or cookies to turn out right. You can also use them to help you weigh your items. They can help pour in the sugar until the scale reaches the number you tell them to look for. You can also track how many cups of sugar, chocolate chips, or fruit you add.

cooking with kids

Let Them Measure

You can use a small ruler that fits on a desk or a measuring tape that rolls up for this activity. From what I’ve seen, both of these things are fun for kids to play with. With the smaller ruler, they can measure the length of things like their shoe or a wooden spoon that they find around the house. Using the measuring tape, you can help them figure out how tall they are or how long their bed is.

Even though they probably won’t understand how centimeters and meters work, they will see the numbers and start to understand that things come in different sizes and that there is a way to tell them apart.

Matching Shapes

This activity is not just used at home. It’s also popular at day care in Silver Spring, MD. Cut out different forms from a piece of construction paper. For instance, 5 purple shapes, 4 red squares, 3 blue circles, 2 orange rectangles, and 1 yellow star. Put all the shapes in a bowl, and have your child pick them out one at a time and put them in piles that match. With these cutouts, you can learn about colors, numbers, shapes, adding and taking away, patterns, and more.

Kids playing  with wooden shapes

Pattern Practice

Get out several bowls and put something different in each one. Choose things with different shapes, colors, and textures to make it more interesting for you and your child. In one, you could put cotton balls; in another, stones or marbles; in another, grapes; and in the last, chess pieces. You start by putting the different things on the table in a pattern, and then your child copies it. After a few times, give them a chance to make the pattern on their own.

Play with Blocks or Legos

Talk about how many blocks you use as you develop your block structures. As you position them, count them. Count how many you have overall after adding one more. Subtraction is achieved by changing your mind and removing one, then calculating how many are left afterward. Legos can also be used for this. Lego bricks can be used to build towers to count, to sort and arrange by color, and to make patterns that can be followed.

Counting Landmarks

Decide what you’re going to look for before you leave the house. You write the things down on paper. Giving it to a child who can’t read might help to put a little picture next to the word. Traffic lights, bicycles, delivery trucks, and red cars could all be choices.

Then, when a child sees an item on the list, he or she crosses it off and counts how many times that happens. You could also do this while walking if the child is in a stroller or is responsible enough to hold onto the paper.

woman playing legos with girl

Play Games

You may use chalk to make a hopscotch board on your driveway or sidewalk, even if your kid is too young to fully understand the game’s nuances. Give your kid the task of hopping to a given number or hopping on each number a predetermined number of times. You can choose from a wide variety of alternatives to solve the problem.

You can play with standard dominoes, but if you want something with more vivid colors, you can buy “kids dominos.” Together, count the dots, and then work with your kid to match the dots to the numbers. Construct patterns with the many components of the game.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to be a math expert yourself to help your child learn to love it. Many parents fail to realize just how often you use simple math concepts in your daily life. Once you know about it, it’s not hard to help get your child involved in math activities. Anything can be counted anywhere. If you look for them, you can find shapes and patterns everywhere.

A strong grasp of mathematics is essential for academic success and will be useful in many aspects of daily life in the future. Its importance is one reason why it is introduced at child care in Silver Spring, MD. Additionally, our children must enter school with a positive attitude toward arithmetic and a strong foundation in place to support their future success because research indicates that early math skills are one of the best indicators of success in later life.

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