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Everyday Early Math

During the early years when children begin to learn the language and social skills, they’re also learning math through playtime and everyday interactions with their parents and caregivers.

Simple, everyday activities like counting toes during bath time or stacking blocks can help children develop early math skills which can have a big impact on school readiness.

Here are a few fun and easy ways to help turn everyday moments into opportunities to support children’s early math skills:

Everyday Fun with Patterns

Creating patterns is the ability to put objects, colors, sounds or actions in a repeated order. It is as easy as lining up leaves and rocks at the park. Learning to notice, create and continue patterns can help children understand more advanced math concepts later on.

Activity: You and your child can make patterns together by putting objects in order by size or quantity or stacking different colored blocks. For example, you might say, “Red block, blue block, red block, blue block. What comes next?”

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Everyday Fun with Measurement

As early as 12 months old, babies can begin to understand comparison and measurement concepts, such as distance and size. You can help your child develop these skills by using simple measurement words like wide, tall, short or tiny when you play, talk and sing together.

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Activity: Preschoolers enjoy comparing. At the grocery store ask your child, “Which one is wider, the apple or the lime?”

During the early years, young children begin to build an understanding of numbers and math concepts like adding and subtracting. They learn these early math concepts through play and everyday routines. You can help your child learn early math by pointing out differences in quantity as you play and talk together, using words like plus, add, or take away.

Activity: When unpacking groceries, you can play “How many” with your toddler and ask, “How many boxes of cereals did we buy? Let’s count them together.”

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