When is it time to teach maths, without thinking you have probably already started. These toddler math activities will help speed up the process. Although you probably don’t think about it, Math plays a role in many of your daily activities. You use it when you quickly check the weather report, then compare temperatures to last week or last year. You add up the items in your cart to make sure you have enough money. Even loading the dishwasher can be a lesson in geometric design as you strategically place dishes to maximize the load size.
Teaching math to your toddler is much the same. No need to pull out a calculator, pen and pencil; simply expose your tot to foundational math concepts by capitalizing on his normal play activities. Use everyday opportunities to teach math skills like reasoning, sorting and classifying, counting, patterns and more.
Use opportunities for matching to help your toddler develop reasoning skills by matching, sorting and classifying. You can do this a number of different ways. Dump out the laundry basket and ask your child to help you match socks or separate clothes into piles by family member. In the kitchen, bring out a pile of pots, pans, storage containers and lids. Help your child match lids to containers. At the grocery store, ask your tot to group like items in the cart while you shop such as apples and bananas, cookies and milk or diapers and wipes. Talk briefly about how such items belong together and encourage her to talk about her reasoning as much as possible.
You can even encourage math skills in the bathtub. Equip your bath area with containers of various sizes and shapes. Show your toddler how to fill and pour (he’ll likely figure that one out himself). Then, talk about it! Use language like “full, empty, pour, more, less, bigger, smaller, etc.” Although your toddler’s language skills are still developing, hearing math language will help important concepts begin to form in her mind. This is one of the easiest toddler math activities that you try!
Counting is a crucial early math skill that every child must learn. You can foster this by counting with your toddler as much as possible. Use everyday opportunities that lend themselves to a countdown. You might count to 10 while your child picks up his toys, count his shoes as you put them on or count the number of people at the dinner table. There are endless opportunities for counting each day. The trick is to make it engaging and fun for your toddler. Pair counting with a catchy tune or rhyme that is repeated often. Use the same counting song at the same time of day to help with memorization. Have fun and praise your child on his counting skills as they develop to encourage and motivate him.
Legos, blocks and other building materials provide endless opportunities for early math learning. To the untrained eye, a toddler building tower after tower and delighting in knocking each one down is only working on skills of destruction. Parents who know better know that building a tower requires reasoning, problem solving and spatial sense while knocking it down teaches cause and effect. Encourage your toddler to build and create, line up the blocks, sort them by color, make a pattern or maybe she just wants to throw them across the room.
If it seems like all your child does is play, then you’re on the right track. Remember, learning IS play for young children. So get down on the floor and foster the development of the next Albert Einstein while bonding with your child with all of these great toddler math activities.