Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Developing maths skills in pre-school and early years schoolers

Our son has always loved numbers, they seem to make sense to him more than letters and words.  Our daughter is showing the same aptitude.  I think they will both be engineers!

I have no idea if their maths skills are a result of luck or judgement, but maybe some of the games we've played with both of them have played a part?

Water measuring

We've always had some cheap jugs and cups in the bath.  Both of them love to fill up the jugs and pour the water into others.  We try and talk about this too - 'the volume of water is greater', 'now it's overflowing because there's too much'.  They both check this all over the bathroom floor regularly!

Local buses
Our son started this one when he was quite small and now we always notice the number of every bus that we get on or pass.  This really helps early recognition of numbers, and when added to a conversation about the number 23 bus being a higher number than seven, adds to early understanding of the 'value' of numbers.

Shut the box

Our son had 'Shut the Box' for Christmas when he was in reception year at school.  The idea is you roll two dice, and then 'shut' any combination of wooden numbers that add up to the dice value.  He initially needed a bit of help with this, but loves the game and is fluent with his number bonds now.  All without him realising he was learning - bonus!

We sometimes use the blocks of Jenga to make repeating patterns, and when playing normally talk about higher and lower towers.  All this helps early maths understanding.

Connect 4
Long before our son could count, and now a toddler girl is approaching three, we use my vintage Connect 4 set to make colourful patterns and take turns to put the coins in the frame.  Again, it can start a dialogue and easy opportunity to count (and take turns).

Colour days

Sometimes when toddler girl and I are home alone, we have 'colour days' where we look out for everything of a single colour.  So we spot red cars, roses, red swing seats, eat tomatoes etc.  Again this provides a great opportunity for counting and also promotes colour learning too.

I feel sure there are loads more ways to promote maths skills in pre-schoolers and early years schoolers.  What are your favourite?

1 comment:

  1. We just bought a pre-school counting book and as we go through it has sums to do, so we end up getting the fruit bowl out to help him, he loves it :)