Aside from ‘ABC’, learning ‘123’ is a critical milestone in your child’s early development. But numeracy is so much more than counting – it’s also measurement, spatial sense, estimation, patterns and problem-solving. And the good news is that you can develop all these skills through play. Here’s how…
9 Fun ways to strengthen your little one’s numeracy skills:
- Use sand and water to develop your little one’s mathematical concepts and language, including ‘heavy’, ‘light’, ‘empty’, ‘full’, ‘big’, ‘little’. The sandpit is also a great place for your child to begin identifying different shapes and numbers.
- Playdough is a fun way to play with concepts like short, long, fat and thin, and create shapes of different dimensions.
- Fantasy or imaginary play also offers children an opportunity to practise their numeracy skills while they’re setting the tea table for their teddies – after all, how many are coming for tea and if there are only so many biscuits being served, how many can each one have?
- Playing with cars, blocks and collections of toys is a great way to increase children’s counting, sorting and sequencing abilities.
- Block play can also help to build their understanding of weight and dimensions.
- Teach your children rhymes with a mathematical element e.g. “One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive…”
- During reading time, encourage your child to count the number things on the page (people, animals, shapes, objects etc.).
- Gardening is not only a way to teach them responsibility, it’s a Maths opportunity too – they can measure the size of their plants as they watch them grow!
- Get your kids involved in chores from an early age (you’ll thank us later!) so they can work on their sorting and sequencing skills as they help you tidy. Even cooking and baking together is an opportunity to count, measure, add and estimate.