One of the most enjoyable things that parents can experience is seeing their children explore and learn new things with great enthusiasm. Many may not realize this simple fact, but parents are their child’s first teachers. Parents can guide children into learning the basics of reading, writing, and math from an early age.
Giving children a solid foundation in early math literacy can prove critical to later academic success, not to forget the important part mathematics plays in many day-to-day activities.
In short, math is part of a child’s everyday life! At home, simple tasks like counting fruits, dividing veggies during lunchtime, segregating toys, etc., involve math. Your child may not yet be ready for the AIME test but their love of math could simply prepare them for this in the future.
How to make math interesting for children
There are different ways and activities to help children learn math. Math is all about measuring, building, sorting, noticing patterns, and even describing the environment (e.g., the number of trees on the road) and knowing the names of shapes (a round balloon, a rectangular candy). In short, there are many fun ways (including math apps) to incorporate math into everyday learning moments.
Activities to introduce math to children
Build something together: Building a house out of cardboard boxes or constructing a fort using pillows and bedsheets is a great way to teach math to children early. Whether big or small, any activity that involves counting, adding and subtracting helps. Building blocks are a great example of how parents can incorporate both numbers and spatial thinking into playtime.
During this activity, parents can ask questions related to math. Talking about the subject is important and every bit of math talk helps. Some questions to ask include “How many blocks do you need to pile to reach as high as the study table?” or “Can you make a square out of this cardboard box?”
Add math to cooking: Involving children in the cooking process is not only fun but will help brush up their math skills. Try to let children help in measuring ingredients for a simple recipe.
During the activity, parents can ask questions like “How many apple slices are required to make a smoothie?” or “If someone asks for three pieces of cheese, how many cheese slices do you need to serve?”
The number game: Make use of the calendar and teach children to count down the days to their birthdays. Help children see and understand the connection between a number like 6, the word six, and six days on the calendar.
Digital resources: These can be a great medium to enhance learning in children. Today, digital resources such as websites, software/apps, databases – all available in electronic format play a vital role in the learning process. Parents can always introduce their children to an online learning tool that will make math fun and engaging.