Making Math Fun for Your Preschooler

March 22, 2010

Mathematics helps your preschooler make sense of the world around her.  Math know-how is necessary in day-to-day adult life, so starting early with our preschoolers gives them an advantage.  

Your preschooler may be learning numeracy concepts such as counting, number sequences, sizes, shapes, and space.  At this stage, it is important to help your preschooler have fun, positive experiences while learning about math, as that connection will promote confidence in her math skills and motivate her to learn more. 

You can teach rhymes and sing songs which use numbers to help reinforce your preschooler’s learning, such as “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” and “The Beehive”.  These rhyming songs emphasize patterns in words and sound, and are playful ways for your preschooler to practice language and mathematic skills.  Try a backwards counting song, like “Five Little Monkeys” or “Ten in the Bed” to strengthen her understanding of the fixed ordering of numbers.  Preschoolers also enjoy singing songs where they can bounce around and do the actions, such as using their fingers to symbolize numbers.

Preschoolers often love to have things repeated even when they know them well, so don’t hesitate to practice songs and concepts over and over again.  Repetition is the best way for them to learn and maintain what they’ve learned. 

There are many other ways to incorporate numbers and math skills into your preschooler’s everyday life, including:

 1)      Take opportunities to practice counting during regular activities, such as helping her count crayons or toys.  Try counting in lots of environments, like at the grocery store or the park.

2)      Choose books from your library that include numbers, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

3)      Play counting games.  Try board games such as Snakes & Ladders and Candy Land.  Try physical activities such as hopscotch and jump rope while counting.

4)      Decorate your preschooler’s play space with number posters or cut-outs of numbers.

5)      Make flashcards together to use later for identifying numbers.