Math skills are very important as they render life skills. The development of mathematical skills in children should begin long before they start their formal education. Hence, preschool plays a crucial role in laying the foundation of math that children would require in school and beyond school in higher education.
Sorting, comparing, designing and organizing occurs, and children learn the same while playing itself. Some of the strongest mathematical connections that provide children the knowledge regarding formal math can be made through activities involving play.
Children in preschool should be educated regarding basic counting, addition, subtraction, and the basics regarding numbers and numerical senses. Children should know how to count forwards as well as backwards to learn the relationship between numbers.
Mentioned below are five activities you can engage in with your child and teach him/her some basic math:
1.Addition with Pictures: For this activity, all you need is some cut-outs from a magazine or any paper with a picture on it. The image could have flowers or animals or cars or candies. Ask your child to count the number of petals in the flower or the number of candies on the paper. To make it interesting, you can ask him/her to add the number of petals in one image and number of cars in another and say out the number loud.
2.Roll the Dice: All you need for this activity is a sheet of paper, some coloured pens and two dices. This activity is a great way for children to learn number identification. Parents have to make a game board on a piece of paper with numbers written in circles on it. Now the children have to roll the dice and count the number of dots on the dice. Then they have to find the number on the paper game board and mark it with a coloured pen. Continue until the entire paper game board is filled with colours.
3.Numbered Craft Sticks: This activity is a great idea for children who are just beginning to learn numbers and is super simple to make. Number each craft stick. Now create dots with glitter equal to the number written on the stick and let it dry. Ask your child to feel each dot and feel the bump created by each dot. He/she will then learn how to count.
4. Shapes with Match Sticks: Teach your child about various shapes like square, rectangle, triangle with matchsticks. Arrange the match sticks in the desired shape and then teach your child to identify the shape. Later move on to the complex shapes like hexagon, octagon and rhombus. Remember, repetition is the key to this activity. Children will take time to learn these shapes but once they have remembered them, you can ask them to identify daily objects with the shape like a block of cheese or a birthday hat. You can take this activity a notch higher by asking your child to look for shapes in a magazine too.
5. Bring Me Game: This activity can be played anytime at home with your child. Randomly ask your child – “Bring Me 8 Crayons” or “Bring me 3 Pencils”. When your child brings you the said objects, count them together. Also, you can make them right the number on a piece of paper.
Parents and teachers play a significant role by giving children various opportunities to learn and setting an example for them.
At ‘Shanti Juniors’, we believe in giving our little ones the opportunity to create and discover, develop problem solving skills and use number concepts to explore and learn.