I don’t know about you, but for me it seems that providing language arts activities for preschoolers is easy, natural, and ordinary.
Math is different. When my boys were young, it was harder for me to use our everyday environment to learn math. But it can be done.
Sneaking math into your preschooler’s day is a fantastic way to teach them without them even knowing. Attempting to weave math concepts into routine activities such as storybook or snack time is a great way to bring math alive and show your preschooler how math can connect with the real world.
Hygiene and Personal Care
Hygiene and personal care times can be turned into the perfect time for math discussions. When your children are getting dressed, you can help them to identify shapes in material patterns or on their clothing. “Do you see a triangle on your shirt?” “Show me the rectangles that make your pants?” “Do you have a square pocket?” You can also ask your child to tell you what they see. “Do you see any shapes on your clothes today?
Getting dressed also provides an opportunity for counting. You can count out clothing articles. You can count and add the number of buttons, pockets and zippers.
When your child is brushing her teeth, setting an egg timer for one or two minutes will help your preschooler begin to understand the concept of time.
Even hand washing also offers a math learning opportunity for your preschooler. Count to ten or twenty together while washing. Tell your child how many squirts of soap to get before he or she cleans her hands.
Children often like to help in the kitchen and enjoy taking part in mealtimes. Meal times are the ideal time to get children measuring, counting, estimating and recognizing shapes. Parents can have their preschoolers count and measure out cups of ingredients, add up how many utensils are required when setting the table, and even have them figure out who has more or less of a food item on their plates.
Another fun way to teach your preschooler number recognition is by allowing him to set the timer on the microwave. Punching in numbers can be exciting—especially while helping mom or dad cook.
Participating in a bedtime routine is another way to reinforce various math concepts. Prompt your preschooler to count bath toys while in the tub.
Encourage your child to select bedtime books with math themes in them. You can also have your little one count the number of tasks and steps involved in their bedtime routine.
Involving your preschooler in age appropriate household duties is not only a great way to teach them responsibility and teamwork, but it’s a fabulous way to teach them math as well. Kids can learn math while doing laundry by matching socks and sorting items into different piles. Gardening is also a fabulous way to teach math as your preschooler can keep measure plant growth or count seeds.
Playtime provides an additional opportunity to teach your preschooler math. Have your preschooler count how many jumping jacks they can do, add up how many stairs are on the jungle gym, determine how many steps it takes to get to the swing set or even just how many bubbles they can blow. Playtime offers several math opportunities and is a great way to teach your children math without them even knowing it.
When it comes to sneaking math into your preschooler’s day, there are several different ways to do it. Work math into their hygiene routines, mealtimes, bedtime routines, chore times and even play times. In no time you will be teaching your preschooler basic math skills without them even knowing it.