Teaching kiddos simple math concepts is definitely something you want to do long before they enter the classroom. There are so many ways we can embed math concepts in their daily lives like counting, measuring, identifying differences like more and less, and so many other activities which we can enjoy with our children alongside them.
I am going to share some quick and easy-to-set-up activities that help you introduce your child to some simple math concepts! We are going to start with NUMBERS and OPERATIONS!
WHAT ARE NUMBERS & OPERATIONS?
“I have more crackers than you do. See, I have 1, 2, 3, and you have 1, 2. I’m going to eat one of mine. Now I have the same as you!”
“That’s the third time I’ve heard you say mama. You’ve said mama three times!”
WAYS WE CAN TEACH KIDS ABOUT NUMBERS & OPERATIONS
- count forward and backward
- recognize what a number looks like and name it
- understand one-to-one correspondence (each number corresponds to one specific quantity)
When we are exploring numbers with toddlers it is all through PLAY and everyday experiences and interactions! This is not the time to break out flashcards or do drill and kill rote learning activities.
- They understand “more” and “enough” and “no more.”
- They also may understand the words one and two or “pick two.”
- Many two-year-olds can hold up two fingers to show you.
- Some two-year-olds will be able to recite numbers words in sequence or may be able to identify some numbers.
- Many will still recite numbers out of order.
There is a broad spectrum of abilities during the toddler years. Each toddler will be different. I encourage you to focus on exploring these math concepts and not worry about comparing your toddler with their peers or trying to rush them to mastery of these skills.
5 WAYS WE CAN EXPLORE NUMBERS WITH TODDLERS
1. Match Numbers
Matching numbers is a simple way to teach kids to recognize numbers and be able to say their names. These activities are great for helping kids learn to recognize, name, and match numbers.
Number Pocket Matching Game– Take a pocket made out of just about any material such as cloth, paper, foil, plastic, etc. and make it colorful and feel free to decorate it to entice our busy little ones to play this game, put a number on the outside of it, then use a tongue deppressor from the store and use a colorful marker to write a matching number on it. The object of the game is to place the stick with the appropriate number in the matching pocket. This game is one I got from Toddler Approved
Leaf Number Movement Game by, Toddler Approved
Car Parking Match Game by Housing a Forest
Cup Number Matching Game by Laughing Kids Learn
Sticky Number Match Activity by Busy Toddler
Number Dig and Match– Happy Toddler Playtime
2. Sing rhymes and counting songs
3. Count together
These simple, but fun activities are great for helping kids count from 1-10 and even higher in a playful way!
Race to Lose a Tooth Counting Game by, Toddler Approved
Boat Sink Challenge by, Toddler Approved
Candy Cane Hunt and Match by, Toddler Approved
Number Toy Hunt by, Toddler Approved
Counting Croquet by, Toddler Approved
Pipe Cleaner Pick Up Sticks Game by, Toddler Approved
4. Read books about numbers
5. Play with numbers
These number activities are great for helping your toddler explore numbers while also moving, exploring, and playing!
EVERY DAY WAYS TO EMBED MATH INTO YOUR DAY
- Count cars as you are driving
- As you collect items at the grocery store, count them up
- Go on a number hunt at the store, on a walk, or while you are driving
- Count together and count the eggs that are added, tablespoons, etc.
- Play “pick up 5” and see if everyone can pick up 5 toys in a messy room and put them away
- Hunt for specific numbers on license plates
- Workout together! Count jumping jacks, laps around the kitchen, and push-ups!
- Build with blocks- work together to create a tower with a specific number of blocks and then count them together
- Count when you are having a snack! Encourage your child to eat 5 raisins or 3 slices of apples. Count them up together.
*As a teaching resource, I based a great deal of this post on the teachings of Kristine from Toddler Approved. I find that so much of what I have to say is duplicate that of her website or taken directly from her website for purpose of teaching my moms and dads out there and I just wanted to give her credit where it is due! She is awesome!O:)
ABOUT KELLI RIEBESEHL
Kelli is the creator of Shooting Stars And Little Toy Cars, a blog full of family, fabulous finds, and simple fun and learning. She is the mother of 4 children 3 girls and 1 boy, loves learning and playing even more. She was a teacher before staying home with her baby bunch. She believes that family activities, especially kid’s, don’t have to be difficult to have fun and that learning is always more memorable when introduced with play.
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