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Let’s Talk About Early Math

Babies doing math? That’s right! Children’s brains are ready to understand number concepts from a very early age.

Early math skills have an enormous impact on children’s school readiness—in fact, research has found that a strong understanding of early math concepts predicts both a child’s future math and literacy skills.

The roots of early math skills begin developing from birth, through babies’ everyday play and interactions with parents and caregivers. The good news is, math is all around us, and routine activities and games provide opportunities to help develop these important early math skills while having fun and bonding with your little one!

Tip of the Week

Your little one’s first math lessons could take place at the grocery store! For example, you can compare the size of fruits and vegetables! You can ask: “Which one is bigger, the banana or the strawberry?”

Everyday Fun With Addition and Subtraction
An early understanding of addition and subtraction can be seen when children experiment with:

  • Counting the number of items in a group of objects
  • Adding objects to a group
  • Removing objects from a group
  • Comparing groups of objects to figure out which has more or if they have the same amount.

Everyday Fun With Measurement
Children develop an early understanding of measurement by learning about:

  • The size, length, height, and weight of people or objects—like when they describe a baby sibling as “short” and themselves as “tall”
  • The concept of capacity — as they “fill” and “empty” a container with sand or water
  • The idea of distance — whether a favorite toy is “far away” or “close by”
  • The idea of time — concepts like before, after, later, soon and “in a minute.”

Everyday Fun With Counting
Your child learns about counting by:

  • Hearing the number sequence and, with experience, learning number names and repeating them in order.
  • Observing adults counting objects and, in time, practicing how to count by saying the number sequence themselves.
  • Talking about the number of things by using number words or words like “more” or “a lot.”
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