Your little one will never know just how much he is learning with these fun
We all know that a good knowledge of math is important to get your child through his school years, and life in general.
Let's face it, though... maths can be boring for kids. But with a little preparation at home, you can take away the seriousness of math and turn it into a fun, creative activity that will prep your little one for learning this all-important subject at school. Making math fun also negates how intimidating it can get for littlies.
So here you go, parents. Five fun ways that 'count' towards making math fun!
1. Number everything
You can start doing this right from the time your child is an infant. During diaper change time, count his little toes and fingers; count how many segments of mandarin you are giving him; at the supermarket, count the apples that you place in a bag. Really, any situation gives rise to an opportunity for counting!
By the time your little one is ready for pre-school, you can be sure he'll know his numbers - which are the starting point for all things math related.
2. TV can be educational
If there's one TV programme you choose to let your child watch, pick Sesame Street! This epic educational children's TV series teaches a huge range of cognitive skills to your child, including, of course, very basic math (remember the Count?!).
'Numbers around the Globe' (BabyFirst TV) is another good TV programme to teach little ones how to count, as well as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Read this article for three educational cartoons that are actually good for your little ones.
3. Make it a game
Learning is always fun when it's a game! Here are some fun 'math' game ideas for you and your child to try at home:
- Set the table: using unbreakable cutlery and crockery, have your little one set the table for an X amount of people. As he sets down plates and cups, count loudly and encourage him to repeat the numbers after you.
- Size comparison: Tell your little one to line up his toy cars or toy dinosaurs from the smallest to the biggest, then biggest to the smallest. Pick two differently sized toys and ask him which one is bigger/smaller.
- Patterns: Lego and other blocks are great toys to make patterns with. You could do this either by shape or colour.
- Incorporate the lingo: When talking to your child about everyday things, use math concepts words such as "a lot", and "a few" often. When he actually has to use these words in a classroom, they'll make so much more sense.
- Shapes: A basic math concept is identifying shapes and you can give your child a headstart by naming shapes you see in the house and garden.
- Junior Monopoly: While this is more appropriate for older kids, you can use it both as a way of bonding as a family, and teaching math skills via the paper cash and die.
4. Use traditional math toys
They don't say 'old is gold' for no reason! You don't need a fancy app on your ipad to teach your little one math skills (and watch him blanking out while he's at it).
Instead, use traditional math skill teaching equipment such as an abacus, with which you can teach your child a range of math skills, starting from counting and going up to addition and subtraction. An abacus won't break or run out of battery power either, like a toy laptop!
5. Piggy bank
Giving your child a piggy bank is a great way of both teaching math, as well as teaching him about the value of saving. Use it to teach counting, addition and subtraction using coins. For younger kids, count loudly as they drop the coins in the till. Older kids can practice addition to find out how much money they have collected, and subtraction if they want to use a certain amount of that money to buy something.
For more great ideas on how to make math fun at home for your little one, check out this list of cute games we selected from from Pinterest:
- Estimation station for after-school fun
- Pick two: A fun Lego math game
- Kindergarten math: Counting to 100 by ones and tens
- Paper plate addition game
- How to teach counting with a stair jumping game
Have you got some great ideas or fun things you do at home to teach your child math? Please share them with us in a comment below.