Seven effective and easy ways to make math part of everyday life
1. Children can learn number concepts long before they can read and write numbers! There is no need to wait till your child is “ready” for math, you can make math part of their every day life! It is never too early to start counting with your child – count toes, fingers, apples, books, spoons, bottle tops, puppies, anything. It is never too early to introduce math concepts like bigger/smaller, more/less, add/take away.
2. Informal math activities can be done virtually anywhere and at any time! You do not need to do traditional worksheets and exercises to learn math, informal math activities is the best choice for young children! Math for little ones can happen anywhere. You can count bugs in the backyard, apples in the bucket, milk bottles on the shop shelf. You can compare buckets of sand in a sand box and pour the water from glass to glass during lunch. You can divide berries together learning one to one correspondence. And… you can count backward as you eat those berries!
3. Repetition is the name of the game. Young children like repeating activities, that is how they learn. So do not hesitate to repeat your math activities over and over and over. If your kids enjoyed collecting shells on the beach, sorting them and then counting each type. Chances are they would like to repeat it again and again.
4. Little children learn mental math. They can not write, many still have not learn how to read the numbers, but they are fascinated with math discoveries. Fully concentrating on manipulating new concepts and numbers in their heads will strengthen their ability for more complicated mental math operations later in life. So dont wait, start early!
5. Understanding the concepts and rote memorization. Young children have exceptional memory abilities. Combining number facts memorization in playful form ( through music, flashcards games, other games) with firm understanding of the underlying concepts ( through hands on games and activities) results in exceptional mental math skills later
6. Learning equals play with young children. And it does not have to be drown out to be effective either. Five minutes few times a day of a fun math play is more effective then 30 minutes of boring instruction, and will go much further. Play helps you to also bond with the child.
7. Focused attention brings dividends. Short periods of focused attention, doing math play, may feel like an investment. It is much easier to put your child in from of an educational video. But consider for a moment that this time will multiply and pay for itself. Focused attention helps your child to respond with interest, and that will mean he will be more likely to continue the activity in his independent play, repeating and solidifying what he learned.