Children begin learning about very basic math concepts from an early age through real-life interactions. It is important to continue fostering and encouraging their mathematical curiosity and understanding as they grow, even at an early age. Here, the early childhood education professionals at Celebree Learning Centers explain how to introduce math concepts to toddlers in fun and engaging ways.
Starting Math Comprehension Early is Critical
Various skills require a solid foundation and comprehension of basic mathematical skills—the skills your child would learn as a toddler, preschooler and kindergartener. Helping your child create this basic mathematical foundation makes learning more complex math, among other studies, far easier in the future. There are a wide variety of basic math concepts children can understand during toddlerhood that will help them understand more advanced concepts in the future. Read further to see how some of these concepts can be taught in fun, easy and engaging ways.
Number sense is an understanding of what numbers are, their relationship to each other, mental math, symbolic representations of numbers and the use of numbers in real world situations. There are several ways to help toddlers establish a strong sense of numbers. Counting fingers and toes is one that children are easily exposed to, while snack time is another great opportunity for helping your child become familiar with their numbers: carrot sticks, crackers, cookies, raisins or other small snacks can all be counted, added or subtracted as snack time progresses. You may even want to get a little more creative with your child’s learning: Is a holiday or birthday coming up soon? Create a paper chain that counts down to the day of the event. This allows your toddler to count down the days as links are removed.
Developing measurement skills involves teaching your toddler to determine the size, length or amount or a physical object or time. Children are regularly exposed to measurement when their height or weight is measured. You can even get your child involved in the process by keeping a chart, so they can see their progress. This activity helps toddlers to develop the ability to compare sizes, by learning to identify that they are now bigger than they were previously. Similarly, you can encourage your child to arrange objects by size or weight. This further develops their understanding of measurement principles, at a very basic level, while also working on your child’s number sense.
Spatial Sense (Geometry)
An understanding of size and shape, or spatial sense, eventually evolves into an understanding of geometry, the more formal concept regarding points, lines, surfaces and solids. Spatial sense and relation is best practiced through physical activity: parents can identify when their child is near or far, above or below and in front or behind. Many children’s songs, such as “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” or “Rock-a-Bye Baby,” also help children understand spatial relations, stressing directional terms in a fun way.
Anything that repeats in a logical order represents a pattern, many of which exist all around us. Understanding patterns helps children formulate predictions and make logical connections. Help your child identify patterns in their own life, whether in a design, on a shirt or blanket, through clapping to the beat of a song or even in their daily routine. For example, breakfast always comes before brushing teeth, but after waking up.
How Celebree Learning Center Can Help
At Celebree, we believe in establishing and nurturing a strong educational foundation in the children we serve. Our dedicated and talented educators work hard to ensure children feel capable and confident in their skills, helping them to succeed later in life. If you are interested in enrolling your child into one of our educational programs, or would like to experience our programs firsthand, contact us today.