Monday, April 5, 2010

Math at Home

What is "math" at this age? It's counting, comparing things and solving simple problems in everyday life. Most children enjoy games, and a lot of math can be learned by playing games. When children play, they often use mathematics.
They count. ("She has three blocks and I only have one.")
They share. ("Here's a car for you and a car for me.")
They solve problems. ("You go first, then, then John.")
They notice sizes and shapes. ("It's in the big, square box.")

Simple toys and objects like kitchen utensils, crayons and paper and pencil are all tools that can you your child learn math skills. Here are some things your preschool can learn about mathematics with your support and help.
Recognizing and naming shapes and numbers
Learning how to write some numbers
Using math language, like more and less, taller and shorter, lighter and
heavier, and half of.
Sorting objects into groups.

When, Where and How?
The key is to weave activities into your daily routine. Here are a few activity ideas that don't require much extra time...just a little effort.
Go for a walk and count the number of red cars or trucks you see. Observe and talk about what makes them different.

As you use items at home, such as mixing bowls or towels, comment to your child about their sizes. Use words like small, medium and large, bigger and smaller, lighter and heavier.

Give your child some items of different sizes to arrange-sets of measuring spoons or plastic mixing bowls will work. Also let your child help sort and fold towels and washcloths from the laundry.

While grocery shopping, note the aisle numbers you visit and count the number of people in the line ahead of you at the register.

Play with numbered refrigerator magnets and name them. Find things to match to the numbers: one nose, two eyes, five fingers.

Teach your child your telephone number and have them match the numbers.

Have your child sort silverware when putting them away.

Let your child play with plastic measuring cups in the tub at bath time.

Keep it positive! Show an interest in numbers and shapes, and your child will too. Praise your child for effort made.

Tip 2 Don't push! Never drill your child or put him or her on the spot for answers. Provide information and play along to show your child how.

Tip 3 Talk about it as your child plays, observe what he or she is doing and talk about it. Answer questions or ask some of your won and you will both learn.

Tip 4 Follow your child's lead. If your child loses interest in doing something your suggest, stop for now and try something new.