In my 3rd grade classroom, our big math challenges are multiplication, factors, and elapsed time. In my conversations with parents, I’m never surprised to discover that the students who understand these concepts best are those who were exposed to math almost as early as they began speaking. The students who struggle are those who weren’t introduced to math until they needed to learn it for preschool or Kindergarten. Give your kids a strong start in life by teaching them math concepts BEFORE they need to know it for school! Here are some truly great activities you can count on to help your toddler learn math.
1, 2, Buckle My Shoe
You’ll find READING on any list I make with suggestions for how to help a student succeed! With improved reading, vocabulary, and comprehension skills comes an improved ability to dissect and understand math problems. Reading nursery rhymes with numbers in particular is a fantastic way to help your toddler learn math! “One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…” The rhymes and chants are much more likely to stick to memory than rote memorization alone. Other books, such as those by Eric Carle, are also great math resources.
Teach your child the basics of number recognition and counting by bringing some fun friends into the equation. Having actual objects like animal crackers to count will help make abstract numbers become more meaningful for children as they see the numbers represented by the objects. Cheerios, small toys, pom poms, stickers… anything you can use as a “manipulative” will do just fine.
Baking with a toddler can be a fun and tasty way to teach about math. Use cookie cutters to make different shapes and talk about how many sides each shape has. You can also count candies as you place them to decorate your treat. Red hots on gingerbread men was always a favorite in our house. You can find great candies in bulk on CandyStore.com.
Number Match Counting
Play games to help toddlers match written numbers with physical objects. This dino counting game is a great example. Simply write a number on each cut out dinosaur and have your child match the correct amount of clothespins to the number written on the dino.
Play Dough Math
Wth the help of some moldable play dough, children can learn how to write and identify numbers. After molding the numbers, place that many tiny objects on top as a way to represent the number.
Lily Pad Hop
Turn every day actions like stepping into math learning opportunities. Count out loud as you move from room to room or walk up the stairs. You can also play fun stepping or hopping games like this Lily Pad Hop game to turn counting into something fun and silly.
Legos were always a super popular way to learn math without realizing it in our home. Stack Lego pieces to teach about counting on and number order. You can also use the pieces to learn about patterns, adding & subtracting, and, for later on, multiplication and measurement.
Discover these fantastic ideas and products on:
10 Classic Rhymes with Counting shared by Rainy Day Mum
10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle sold on Amazon
Animal Cracker Counting found on I Can Teach My Child
Image Source for Baking With Toddlers
Bulk Candy sold on CandyStore.com
Dino Counting Game via Glued To My Crafts
Play Dough Math shared by A Little Pinch Of Perfect
Lily Pad Hop game found on Toddler Approved
Lego Math Activities via Simple Play Ideas