Pre school children are avid math learners! They may easily compare sets of objects to know which is more, but may have difficulty figuring out how many they actually have. When they count they know how many? but may not know that the last number counted means the total quantity. At this age, kids are learning which set is more and may be able to sequence quantities from smallest to largest. But the question how much more? can be difficult. Many children are also fascinated with collecting and sorting objects.

As a mother to a 2.5 year old, I keep looking at various avenues to learn tricks and trade to instill an inclination and love for Maths in her. Here is what I found and happily sharing a few pointers with the parents here.

Give your child plenty of chances to count –

  • Play number games during everyday activities, such as counting the number of steps, the number of trucks you see while driving, or counting the number of items going in the laundry.
  • Read the calendar, and determine the number of days until an upcoming event.
  • Young children can count the number of items that you bought at the store. If you buy multiples of 1 item (such as 8 packs of washing powder), practice counting by 2’s, 3’s, or higher numbers
  • Have your child count the change needed to pay for an item.
  • Watch your child play to understand her mathematical knowledge. When your child counts, does she touch each object once? Is his voice in sync with his tag?
  • Have your child distribute cookies or toys to family members, with each person getting an equal number

Help your child recognize shapes and size relationships

  • At the grocery store, ask your child to find items that are triangles, circles, rectangles, and other shapes.
  • Ask your child to recognize or stack the groceries you bought by container shape or organize by size.
  • Organize a scavenger hunt where your child has to find objects of different shapes
  • Ask your child to count different number of squares, rectangles etc in the room.

Find ways to collect and organize information

  • Look around the house to find groups of 2 objects, like pairs of gloves or socks. Look for groups of 3’s, 4’s, and on up to 10’s.
  • Have your child help sort the laundry by various categories — by color, or by whom an item belongs to.
  • Take measurements for a project around the house.
  • Collect objects in nature— leaves, rocks, shells and the like. When you get home, sort them by color, size, or type. How many different categories can you find? How many objects are in more than 1 category?

Help your child develop reasoning skills

  • Help your child think about the permanence of a set. Put 6 pennies in a row, and then change the arrangement. Ask “did the quantity change?”
  • Kindergartners love repetition and patterning, which fosters mathematical thinking. Clapping patterns help your child discover sequences and predict what comes next.

Small little activites that parents do with children at home go a long way in instilling the love for Maths in their child.

By Dr Shruti Jaiswal. – Consulting Homoeopath, Parenting Expert – Parwarish and a mom to 2.5 year old lovely daughter.