Kahlilia Bouteflika November 13, 2020 Math Worksheets
Basic math skills learned early in life can set a strong foundation for your child's education and better their understanding of more difficult mathematical concepts later on. Children with a strong mathematical foundation are more likely to be able to problem solve, make connections between different objects and ideas, and other complex processes. This doesn't mean you need to get a tutor for your preschooler or have them do math worksheets they are not ready for.
The best way for your young child to learn is through fun and relatable activities. There are all sorts of great toys and activities that promote learning concepts such as sorting, counting, and matching. These are the basics of math that will further your child's understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, measurements, more or less of a quantity, problem solving, and much, much more.
One of the most basic ways to get your child to start counting and learning numbers in order is to count the stairs as you walk up and down. They will also start to understand the concept of "One-to-One Correspondence" which is the understanding that each object being counted represents one more or that for each object being counted you give one number. For example, If you are counting apples, the first apple would be 1, the second would be 2, the third would be 3, etc. Counting objects is a great learning experience and also very easy and accessible. You can find things to count all around you. You can count how many peas on your plate. You can count how may blocks in your box. You can count how many books, dolls, trains, cars, socks, etc. The list goes on and on and you can count anything, anywhere!
Sorting is another basic skill that is perfect for your preschooler to start learning. Of course you can sort anything you want or have, but building blocks, magnetic mazes, and stacking toys are a great way to keep the learning fun and keep the work from looking like work! There are so many different ways to sort things- color, size, shape, smell, touch (soft, rough, smooth, wet, dry, cold, hot, etc.) However, I would recommend that you only use one concept of sorting at a time for your preschooler. For example, if you are having your child pick out the blue blocks do not also ask them to pick out the blue square blocks. This is a concept meant for older children. If a young child is given a task that is too difficult or complex they are more likely to give up and not want to try again. Magnetic mazes are a great toy that gives your child a clear goal, allows them to practice visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and of course sorting. Don't forget to allow your child to use their independence when sorting as well. For example, give them a small pile of buttons of different colors, shapes, sizes, materials, etc. and ask them to sort them. Different children will sort them differently, one child might sort them by color and another child might sort all of the plastic buttons on one pile and all of the metal in another. The important part is that they sorted correctly according to their own method and can tell you what they did.
Puzzles are a great way to enforce sorting as well as matching. There are a number of puzzles on the market today that promote basic math skills. I would suggest wooden puzzles with pegs for the youngest puzzlers. There is no need to create difficulties with putting the puzzle together when that is not the goal. Stick with puzzles that only have one or two math concepts such as colors and shapes. Having to match too many concepts will be confusing and too hard. If you can find puzzles with only one math concept that would be ideal, such as non-colored shapes, or colored pieces all of the same shape, or groupings of things but all of the same objects, etc.
There are so many other ways to enforce basic math skills such as stacking toys that reinforce the concept of size, stringing beads that help to learn the concepts of patterns and can reinforce counting, roller-coaster toys that enforce counting, shape recognition, sorting, visual tracking, and more. Be creative and keep it constant. The more activities and games that you do with your child the better prepared they will be for further education. So keep counting, sorting, building, matching, and playing!
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