Teaching Preschool Math Through Play

This post is from Erin of Simply Real Moms, an online magazine dedicated to providing relevant information to parents. With backgrounds in education and early childhood development, Simply Real Moms’ editors join us to share effective tips that you can actually use – now!

Teaching Preschool Math Through Play!

Many parents think of teaching their preschoolers math and immediately start to panic; “Math! I don’t know how to teach that!” Well I’m here to let you know that it’s so easy to make math part of your preschooler’s life every day-so easy that they won’t realize they’re being taught anything and you won’t be overwhelmed by ideas of skills to be taught.

We all know counting is an important skill to work on with young children. But there is so much more to counting and number concepts than simply teaching your child to say, “1, 2, 3″! Counting means naming 1, 2, 3, and so on, for each object being counted. Having your child touch or even move an item as they count it helps to teach that each object represents one number. A toy my son loves to count items with is the Melissa & Doug Latches Board. With this toy, he is building his math skills by counting objects and his fine motor skills with the latches.

Teaching Preschool Math Through Play! 3.

Make things you already do math related. For example, when you’re walking up the stairs, count them! When you’re folding laundry, have your preschooler help you sort them by color or by family member. Have your preschooler help set the table-that’s great for teaching one-to-one correspondence! For more about teaching your child about counting, read our article about counting and number concepts.

Patterning and sorting are two skills that are very important to develop during the preschool years. Patterning is everywhere you look-and so easy to teach-once you know what you’re looking for! Having colorful goldfish for a snack? Sort them or make a pattern out of them! Wearing striped socks? Have your preschooler figure out the pattern on them!

Teaching Preschool Math Through Play! 2.

Melissa & Doug have a wonderful Bead Sequencing Set that can be used to foster both patterning and sorting. Designed for children to model and recreate patterns with, we have found the Bead Sequencing Set to offer so much more to my preschooler! The predesigned patterns on the cards increase with difficulty, so as your child masters easier ones, they don’t outgrow the toy. What I really love is the open ended opportunities of play the set provides. He can create his own patterns, sort the beads by color and sort them by shape as well. Or I can create the beginning of a pattern and my preschooler can extend the pattern-another important preschool math skill.

Teaching Preschool Math Through Play! 1.

Looking for more ways to make math a part of your day? Check out our article 15 Ways to Make Math a Part of Your Day with Preschoolers. You’ll find that the possibilities of building the next math whiz are endless when you’re making discoveries through play!

Erin, mom of two, is an editor at Simply Real Moms, an online magazine dedicated to providing current, relevant advice to today’s parent. Simply Real Moms covers topics of all shapes and sizes, including parenting articles, a fresh selection of mom-tested recipes, firsthand product reviews, the latest fashion and beauty trends, health and wellness tips and more. Visit Simply Real Moms for the best of their parenting articles, kid friendly recipes, DIY projects and travel advice!