Before your little one starts school, most children develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through everyday interactions, games, and activities. Learning with informal activities gives children a head start when they start learning math in school.
The tips below highlight ways that you can help your child learn early math skills by building on their natural curiosity and having fun. Most of these tips are designed for children aged 2–3. Younger children can be exposed to stories and songs using repetition, rhymes, and numbers.
ShapesPlay with shape-sorters. Make your child count the sides of the shapes, and describe the colors. Make their own shapes by cutting large shapes out of colored construction paper.
Place the callBegin teaching your kid the address and phone number of your home. Talk with your child about how each house has a number, and how their house or apartment is one of a series, each with its own number.
You’re cookin’ now!Even young children can help fill, stir, and pour. Through these activities, children learn, quite naturally, to count, measure, add, and estimate.
Picture timeUse an hourglass, stopwatch, or timer to time short (1–3 minute) activities. This helps children develop a sense of time and to understand that some things take longer than others.
Read and sing your numbersSing songs that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them. Songs reinforce patterns (which is a math skill as well). They also are quite fun to practice language and foster social skills like cooperation.
Start todayUse a calendar to talk about the date, and the day of the week. Calendars reinforce counting, sequences, and patterns.
Pass it aroundAsk for your child’s help in distributing items like snacks or in laying napkins out on the dinner table. Help them give one cracker to each child. This helps children understand one-to-one correspondence.
The long and the short of itCut a few (3–5) pieces of ribbon, yarn, or paper into different lengths. Talk about ideas like long and short. With your child, put in order of longest to shortest
Learn through touchCut shapes—circle, square, triangle—out of sturdy cardboard. Let your child touch the shape with their eyes open and then closed
Pattern playHave fun with patterns by letting children arrange dry macaroni, chunky beads, different types of dry cereal, or pieces of paper in different patterns or designs
As your child nears three and beyond, make a chart where your child can put a sticker each time it rains or each time it is sunny. At the end of a week, you can estimate together which column has more or fewer stickers, and count how many to be sure.
With simple tricks, you can make any simple task an activity. Kindergarten math activities are designed for children to develop an interest in math. There are different child development programs that use such simple and fun activities to reinforce math skills in children. i-Maths is one such Child Enrichment program that makes learning math- fun, easy and fruitful for children. Learn more about these activities on our i-Maths website.