Mathematics and young children
- Recognizing the numbers: the symbols from 1 to 10
- Reciting the numbers in order: from 1 to 10
- Understand the logic of the numbers: 2 comes after 1 and before 3, because 2 is one more than 1 and one less than 3.
- Make comparisons: distinguish which tower of blocks is higher than the other
- Count out loud with the help of his fingers and toes when he is taking a shower.
- Use numbers as much as you can : Name and describe what he is seeing “there are 2 toys, this one is bigger than that one”. Ask him which glass has more milk.
- Count the steps on the stairs when you are going up or down with him.
- Sing songs that use numbers: “ One kilometer on foot wears out your shoes” or “one, two, three, let’s go to the forest”. This way, the child will learn the sequence of the numbers.
- Put the table with him:”we need four dishes”, “how many glasses will I need?” and count systematically those elements with your child.
- Play Simon says: “Simon says you jump three times”, “Simon says you clap your hands five times”.
Max and Lea’s tips:
Introduce him to math at an early age
There are many opportunities to introduce your child to mathematics in fun ways. We have given you several examples of activities that are easy to perform and that can be practiced from an early age. However, there is an endless quantity of activities that you can do. You probably have ideas that could be effective. Any exercise that allows the child to use numbers is beneficial for him.
Give him fun tools
In order to help your child learn math, you could give him fun toys that will introduce him to the numbers and shapes. There are many toys on the market such as shape sorting toys (which are excellent to learn about geometry and discovering spaces), stacking cubes (perfect for understanding the sequence of numbers) and learning boards which can be an all in one toy, and introduce them to the numbers at the same time they learn about association of quantities and colors.
It is possible that your toddler is not interested in some activities that you propose. But don’t worry about it: it could be too early for him to start with this activity. Do not insist! Wait some weeks to try this toy or activity again and if he is still not interested, choose another one. There are so many that it will be a pity to focus on just one.
Avoid educative games on a screen
At Max & Lea we are convinced that there are many ways to introduce children to mathematics. Even if some educational games on the screen can have some benefits, we do not advise exposing your child to screens before a certain age. For more information about this subject, we recommend you to read our article “Children and Screens“.