Although math doesn’t come easily to everyone, it is a skill that can be acquired and mastered with hard work. The earlier you get started introducing your child to basic math skills, the more comfortable they’ll be as these concepts are included throughout their time in school. Preschool-aged children are not too young to learn basic math concepts. You don’t have to wait for Kindergarten to help them master counting or even simple addition. Here are some tips for teaching basic math skills to your children:
1. Start With CountingAs “The Sound of Music” classic song goes, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Counting is the foundation of all math skills, and it’s something that can be taught even before your child enters preschool. Recite the numbers one through ten in the correct order. As your child masters this, you can count higher and higher.
2. Count Everyday Objects TogetherCounting doesn’t stop with just reciting the numbers in order. You can put your child’s toys into small groups and count how many there are together. You can even let your child help you cook and count the ingredients you use. The possibilities for counting are endless — from buttons to cans of soup. As your child physically touches the objects they’re counting, they’ll begin thinking beyond just the numbers to how many items are before them.
3. Connecting to the Written NumberEven if your preschooler cannot yet read, they can still recognize numbers the more they’re exposed to them. You can purchase flashcards or puzzles with numbers on them so that your child can start identifying the written number. Pretty soon, they’ll be able to place the written number next to the number of objects, such as setting a “six” flashcard next to six apples.
4. Teach Basic Math Skills in Daily LifeYou may be scared of the idea of teaching your child how to add or subtract, but it’s easy and can be included in your daily life. There are scenarios all around us:
- You and your child are waiting in the dentist’s waiting room. Have them count how many people there are. If two people leave how many people are left?
- You’re baking cookies for grandma. You have six cookies already, and you decide to bake six more. How many cookies will that make?