As a parent, you want to start your child off on the right footing before they learn kindergarten maths without added the pressure of formal learning. When maths concepts are introduced at an early age just as part of everyday life, children tend to approach maths with more positivity and tend to do well in the subject.
When they see you applying maths skills in daily actions, they are likely to copy and learn. This is a great way to prepare your child for kindergarten maths.
Here are 5 essential skills you can introduce your child to in a fun way before they get to kindergarten:
1. Counting and cardinality
Teach your child to count up to 20 by integrating numbers into their daily play. Have them count their toys back into the box, how many steps it takes to walk from one room to another, how many numbers there are on a clock, etc. While out and about, get your child to recognise numbers they see around their environment such as in the supermarket, perhaps the checkout till number. Playing games also helps, not just on the computer, but board games that involve dice are great. Killing two birds with one stone, playing active physical games helps to improve your child’s counting ability and also keeps them moving. Play old-school games like jumping rope and hop scotch. Your child also need to learn cardinality too, ordering items as first., second. third, etc.
2. Solving simple problems
Involving your child in helping you around the house can involve getting them to solve simple puzzles like “How many spoons do we need on the table for dinner?” Then: “I have 3 spoons here. How many more do I need?”
Simple addition and subtraction is at work here and can be amplified using songs like Five in the Bed, where numbers count downwards.
3. Working in 10s
Introducing the concept of groups of 10s is a great starter to build for your child’s maths foundation too. They need to understand that the number 10 is made up of 10 units of one. Get them to count their fingers and then their toes. Counting coins is another way to reinforce the concept. Get them to “buy” their toys from you and have them work out how many more toys they can buy with 10 cents if each toy is 1c.
Sorting objects is another maths skill your child should be introduced to. Have them sort their toys by size, then colour. Have them also compare objects using words like “more than” and “less than”. In daily activities in the home, ask your child to hand you the biggest spoon, the smallest towel, the red one, etc.
Shapes are fun for children and they should be able to name common 2D shapes like a circle, triangle and square. They should also recognise 3D objects like a ball, pyramid or box are types of circles, triangles and squares. When out with your child, get them to call out the different shapes they see around them. Puzzles, blocks and Lego are also great ways for them to learn shapes and how they fit together.