Ahhh Math. Gotta love them and hate them all at the same time, especially when it's dealing with young children. How do you teach them to recognise numbers? What about counting? And then there are the basic arithmetics; addition and subtraction. Oh and from what I've gathered, it seems that they are now learning multiplication and division at an earlier stage compared to when we were younger? Gahhhhhhh!
Here's a little disclaimer. I loveeeeee math. It's probably the single subject that I love in school. As a math graduate myself, I secretly love and hope that both my children would love math as much as I do (I know, I know, we shouldn't be setting all these expectations).
When my oldest child started basic counting, addition and subtraction in pre-school, I was so determined to get down to business and start this whole let's-master-math exercise. To be honest, I was stuck and I didn't know how to really teach him. And he clearly wasn't getting it.
Lucky me, being a member of TALE (IG: @storiesofplay), I attended a session presented by Counting with Kids (IG: @countingwithkids) and I learned that there is such a thing as number sense! Basically, number sense is having a "good intuition" about numbers and their relationships. By helping our child to develop a good number sense, it will definitely ease as they learn math in more in depth.
Not just number sense, but there are quite a lot for us parents to learn and how we can help our kids ease into math a little easier, starting from a young age. Just understanding some of the concepts and techniques and our children's development helps a huge deal (for me at least) in my communication with my older child. I'd highly recommend Counting with Kids. Follow her on Instagram to get some tips, ideas for math activities and if you're interested I believe she has classes to offer from time to time!
With my oldest son now being able to do simply addition, I've also found this little downloadable from Everyone Can Learn Math which he can do. It doesn't have to be done in one sitting, but it sure helps as we're doing sums of 10. Or quite honestly, you can use this template and set any math questions for your child to do; add, subtract, multiply, divide. Sending my child on a number scavenger hunt makes math a little more interesting.
There are many toys out there that you can use to help make learning math a little more fun! Sumblox has a range of products which are cleverly design that definitely helps put math into perspective for young children. You can even use blocks to teach math too! Here are a few products that are available at our store that would be a good addition to your child's math learning journey.
- Counting Blocks
- Classic Cubes
- Bricks and Cubes
- Sesame Street School Bus
- Eric Carle The Grouchy Ladybug
- Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Until next time, have fun introducing Math to your child using creative play!