Mathematics is one of the core developmental areas of early childhood education.
It’s very easy to overlook the importance of math as a parent of a small child or toddler, especially when dealing with more pressing matters such as diapers, nap-time, and eating schedules. Yet, the inclusion of mathematical thinking alongside daily routines is an incredible tool in supporting the development of intelligence that can help make parents’ lives feel a bit easier as it applies to other tasks.
Now, you obviously shouldn’t expect toddlers and preschoolers to perform algebra, but they are natural mathematicians who count, sort and measure everything they encounter.
Children develop faster with routines and regularity. They enjoy being able to recite and recall familiar items, especially when they can predict a sequence. Parents can support this through challenging and complimenting a child’s memory through constantly inquiring about items and belongings. Commentary as to how items and belongings fall into categories or attributes like size, color, and age help to build mathematical traits.
Relate things to one another
Children begin to formulate how they connect to the world around them at a very young age. Adjectives that convey relativity to objects also help to develop thought processes that contribute to logic building and mathematical ability. Parents can help by asking, explaining and comparing things based on their closeness or likeness to one another based on positioning and adjectives a child is familiar with such as whether something is fast or slow, big or small, and new or old.
Talk about math
Incorporate math related conversation into all of your normal activities. Numbers are everywhere around your child. You can include mathematical thinking into normal conversation by pointing out how many things are involved in playing with respect to numbers of toys, cooking with respect to amount of time and volume of items, and normal activities such as getting dressed and brushing teeth. Use numbers as much as you can, and help them to understand them by relating them to things you can see and touch.