by Barbara Morgan, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
The preschool years may be the most fun for learning math skills! Preschoolers learn math by exploring the world. Help your child develop the following math skills, without even mentioning the word “math”.
1. Number sense. Count the number of items at snack time (# of crackers, raisins, etc). Mark down days on a calendar to a special event. Play board games where your child has to count spaces.
2. Geometry. Have your child name shapes of blocks or cookie cutters. Arrange shaped blocks in a pattern. For example: square, circle, star, square, circle, star.
3. Measurement. Let your child help measure ingredients for recipes. Make a growth chart, and measure monthly, noting the difference.
4. Math language. Use terms such as more than/less than; bigger/smaller; near/far. Ask leading questions: Do we have more or less apples than bananas?
5. Spatial relations. Play games, such as Simple Simon, where you have your child jump forward, backward, left, right, etc. Sing songs that teach concepts such as in/out, up/down.
6. Get creative. Select books, such as “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”, which teaches many of the above concepts. Make patterns in craft projects and art work. Allow them to help when doing “shop” work, as long as it is safe.
“Nature is written in mathematical language”- Galileo. Use your child’s curiosity of the world to help create a solid foundation of basic math! Thank you, Lord for our vast and interesting world to explore!