Math shouldn’t be scary. Even if you have a math phobia, you want your child to grow up with an appreciation of numbers and how they work. But did you know that it’s never too early to learn math? You can start teaching your child basic math skills at an early age. Here are the best ways to help your child develop math skills.
Count to Teach Your Toddler About Math and Numbers
It’s the ABC of early math: Always Be Counting. Incorporate counting into your daily activities and routines. Start off the day by counting out the pieces of fruit that go onto your child’s plate. Count how many seconds it takes to make breakfast. Count the number of grocery stores you pass or traffic lights you stop at on the way to daycare.
Your child will develop the skill of 1:1 correspondence, which means that your child will be able to understand what numbers really mean. Counting is the basis for any math skill, so use it to teach your toddler about math each day.
Point Out the Various Shapes Each Day
Shapes are everywhere. Of course, you can buy a book or puzzle that shows the different shapes – these are often motivating activities. But you also want your toddler to be able to recognize shapes in real life. For example, as you remove a slice of pizza from its box, show your toddler that this is a triangle. As your toddler picks up an uneaten cookie, tell them that this is a circle.
Play with playdough and cut out different shapes. See if your toddler can sort the shapes into a group. Knowing shapes is a great way to teach your toddler about math. And while they are learning their shapes, your toddler can learn about colors, too.
Start Adding Things Together and Subtracting Them, Too
You can easily incorporate basic addition and subtraction into your daily routine. Here are some ways to teach your toddler about math every day:
- “You have one shoe for your right foot, and one shoe for your left foot. Together, you have two shoes. One plus one equals two.”
- “Look, there are three pillows on the sofa. When I take one away, that makes two. Three minus one equals two.”
When you incorporate math into your routine, it will become second-nature for your child to love numbers. And thanks to their confidence, they will be more willing to learn the more complex math concepts later in school, too. So, take the time to teach your toddler about math and numbers every day.