Not every kid learns at the same pace, and unfortunately, math is one of those topics that challenge most children.
It would be best to incorporate math into your kids’ routine as it is a vital skill needed in their everyday lives.
Research shows that children having excellent math skills is one of the best predictors of future success.
If your child does not catch up immediately, you can develop their interest by using hands-on activities.
Fun and Early Math Activities for Your Little Ones
The mere mention of math makes most children feel uneasy and uncomfortable, which should not be so.
Learning math should be exciting for children, and the best way to achieve this is through using activities that help foster that in your child.
There are so many engaging activities to introduce math concepts to your toddler.
These activities make it easy and fun to learn basic math skills like learning patterns, shapes, and measurements with everyday items.
The early math activities below are divided into counting, shape, and pattern activities and do not require a lot of money.
1. Count the Produce During Grocery Shopping
Turn grocery shopping into a game by asking your children to count how many fruits they are putting in the cart.
Next, decide how many apples you need to purchase, and then ask them to pick the amount you need.
You can continue this game throughout shopping until you have gotten everything you need from the store.
2. Numbers on the Ground
Children can participate in the game of calling out numbers and then running to stand on that number inscribed on the ground.
To make this activity fun, turn it into a challenge by having your kids hold up the corresponding value on their fingers.
If you are at the beach, ask them to write numbers in the sand with sticks or fingers.
3. Follow a Recipe
There is so much simple math that can be taught with cooking. For toddlers, it may be as simple as adding three spoons of sugar.
However, with an older preschooler, you can teach them fractions using measuring cups and let them follow a recipe independently.
If you weigh cooking ingredients, they can help pour it in until the scale gets to the exact number you require.
4. Play Hopscotch
Even if your child is very young to understand the game’s rules, explain in simple terms.
Sketch a hopscotch board on your driveway or the sidewalk at home using chalk. Then, have your kid try various options and enjoy themselves while learning how to count.
It could be hopping to a specific number, on each number a certain amount of times, or any other fun alternative.
5. Play a Simple Addition Game
Children can easily make their own addition game with wooden toys and games they have.
Ask them to put all their toys into a container with a die.
Then, teach your child how to roll a die so they can play without your assistance.
The number from the rolled dice determines how many toys they should count into the basket.
6. Create a Height Chart
If you use a height chart for your kids, they will love this activity.
Help your little one create a height chart for their toys and stuffed animals.
Using this fun and simple game, it becomes easier to introduce the concept of measurement to them.
1. Matching Shapes
This math activity requires a bit more work on your part. First, you need construction paper to cut into your child’s favorite shapes.
For example, 5 green triangles, 4 blue squares, 3 purple circles, 2 brown rectangles, and 1 pink star.
Place all these shapes in a bowl, and then have your child practice addition, subtraction, and counting.
You can also teach them colors by sorting matching shapes or colors into the same container.
2. The “Bring me” 5 Game
You can easily play this game when your little one is bored and needs to keep busy.
Ask them to find three triangles or to bring 7 squared objects for you. Then, when your child brings you the shapes, simply count them together.
Most times, they will bring the wrong number and will likely want to make a correction—but if not, no problem!
Once your toddler learns written numerals, try using a written cue for the number of shapes they should find.
Make it enjoyable by writing the numbers on sticky cards to help them recall.
3. Arranging by Size
Start to introduce the concept of bigger and smaller shapes by arranging objects they play with according to their size.
You can do this with chairs, toys, games, or even their socks and shoes.
1. Practice with Stickers
Understanding patterns is a vital part of math learning for your child. Luckily, with stickers, it is entertaining for them to practice!
Using your child’s collection of stickers, create a pattern on a piece of paper and invite them to recreate it on their book.
Eventually, they will make their patterns and graduate to building toys with color patterns.
2. Colored Number Stones
A creative way of linking patterns to numbers is using stones.
Painting numbers on stones make a number line really visual, and you can teach your kids even and odd numbers with it.
Paint numbers on the stones in two different colors so that the odd numbers are in a specific color while the even numbers are in another color.
Children enjoy being creative with natural materials, and stones are a straightforward resource, and it’s also long-lasting.
Using your child’s everyday routine, you can create fun activities that lay the foundations for math.
The goal is to allow them to enjoy math concepts with as little pressure as possible.
As a parent, to get your child enthusiastic about these activities, you do not have to be a teacher or expert at math.
Simply show them that you enjoy math, and the more you can show your child how essential it is, the more motivated they become.