Beginning to teach and reinforce your child's understanding of basic math can be a daunting task for a parent! Start slow with your child in order to prevent both of you from getting overwhelmed. The best way to get your child ready to learn math and vocabulary is to encourage her to play with and explore everyday objects. By recognizing, identifying, and describing the attributes of the items she play with, she is building the foundation upon which she will learn more advanced skills and concepts at school, such as classifying, making patterns, and putting things in order.
What You Need:
- Any objects you can find large numbers of at home, such as: buttons, corks, lids, ribbon, cans, washers, nuts, bolts, keys, junk jewelry, etc.
Fun and easy things you can do at home:
- Let your child help you cook. Describe the spices and textures of ingredients you are using to her, introducing her to common sensory vocabulary. Gradually transition to her describing food and ingredients to you and you do this activity together more and more.
- Encourage your child to start a collection of leaves, rocks or coins. Talk about the attributes the groups of items have, as well as what makes them similar and different.
- Invite your child to play with buttons, nuts and bolts, jar lids, plastic containers and other items you have around the house. Please use caution with young children who still put small objects in their mouths.
These are some vocabulary words you can use with your child when describing objects.
- Big, little
- Fast, slow
- Hard, soft
- Hot, cold
- Loud, soft
- Thick, thin
- Rough, smooth
Next time you visit the library, check out one of these books:
The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle. HarperCollins, 1984.
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. Astor, 1959.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. Holt, 1992.
Adapted with permission from "Count On Math: Activities for Small Hands and Lively Minds." Copyright 1997 by Pam Schiller and Lynne Peterson. Used with permission of Gryphon House, Inc., Maryland. All Rights Reserved.