Talking about numbers, shapes, and patterns early helps Your Child build a strong foundation in mathematical thinking when entering kindergarten or school.
Children learn math from real-world experiences
In over 50 years of research renowned psychologists Jean Piaget, and his team, demonstrated that young children below the age of six cannot really learn maths with abstract symbols, like “2” or “+”. Because to understand a written symbol like the number “2”, they first need to understand the concept of two, which in their heads is 1+1. And since even simple addition takes years to learn and internalize, it’s not possible to teach math to young children on paper using language and number symbols. The best you can do to teach, what is generally called mathematical thinking, is to introduce Your Child to simple math concepts in everyday life. Here are some tips:
Building the concept of numbers and quantities: To help Your Child learn the concept of numbers and quantities, you can point and count the eyes of a teddy bear, count the number of oranges in your hands, or tell the baby to count your fingers. Additionally, you can count “1,2,3” whenever you walk up the stairs or point to the plates on the dinner table and count first “1 plate, 1 plate, 1 plate, 1 plate” and then “1, 2, 3, 4 plates”.
Learning addition and subtraction: If you want to teach the little one the relationship between quantities and how to perform addition or subtraction (subtraction is very hard for any child below age five), make use of some common objects around the house. For example, give Your Child 3 banana slices and count them together. After eating 1, count again. Then add 2 more and count again.
Understanding the concept of size: To make Your Child aware of measurement concepts, such as size, weight, and height, use real objects so that the child can relate and build memories interacting with them. You can involve Your Child in your grocery shopping and ask him to help carry the “heavy” bags. Once you get home, get Your Child to put the big apple on the table and the small grapes into the fridge.
Understanding shapes and spatial awareness: If you wish to nurture the concept of shape and spatial awareness, utilize shapes that Your Child sees on a daily basis. You may point at the tiles to explain that these are squares. If your child has a ball, ask about the shape. Almost all objects at home are either round, square, or some form of other symmetric shapes. Use these objects to build Your Child’s attention to shapes.
Appreciating patterns: To help your little one understand patterns, try to describe what you are seeing or doing. You may explain the patterns on Your Child’s shirt, or you can count left-right while walking together.