mathHelping your child develop basic math concepts at an early age is as important as reading in preparing your toddler or preschooler for future academic success (see our previous post). Opportunities to teach and practice math skills abound in daily activities. Young children love to measure, count, sort and problem-solve -- the four basic building blocks of math. Incorporating these activities into your child’s everyday life will help him or her build a strong foundation for higher level math concepts and, just as important, discover that math can be fun!

Math Is Everywhere

At Horizon Education Centers in Lorain County, Ohio, the experienced teachers in our Toddler Care, Preschool and Head Start programs introduce and encourage the practice of basic math concepts during playtime, games and other daily activities. We are constantly amazed by how quickly children pick up and master new concepts when learning is fun -- and the learning doesn’t have to stop when you pick up your child.

Fun with Math

Use the following ideas from the Horizon Education staff to start having fun with math at home. For additional activities, download the U.S. Department of Education booklet Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics.

  • Look for opportunities to use math. Count objects on a page while reading stories. Count steps when walking. Sort crayons or blocks by color. Point out shapes while driving. Talk about measurements when cooking.
  • Make math fun. Play board games, cards and matching games. Sort blocks into big and little piles. Sing silly counting rhymes like “One, two, buckle my shoe.” Make cookies to learn about measuring.
  • Ask questions to encourage problem solving. How many M&Ms fit on the spoon? How many blocks can you stack? How many more minutes until bed time? 
Photo credit: Pete