This post is sponsored by Growing IQ
When asked about important early-learning activities for young children and preschoolers, most parents would list reading – and rightly so! The important bonding and development created by those hours curled up on the couch with piles of books are irreplaceable.
But preschoolers should be introduced to math concepts too! More and more research is indicating that children are born with an innate mathematical sense that simply needs encouragement to be unleashed – and more and more research is proving that unleashing this math sense early is indicative of future success.
Especially since so many jobs of the future are predicted to demand math and reasoning skills, investing in math foundations at the preschool level will pay abundant dividends later.
In just a few minutes per day…
Here are five games that you can play with your kiddos while the pasta boils to help instill a strong foundation for later math concepts. (While these are geared towards younger, preschool-aged children, older children may enjoy and benefit from these as well!)
Five Simple Games
Dice games. A fundamental skill often taken for granted is something called subitizing. This is the ability to look at a small quantity of something and perceive how many items are in the group without actually counting. Most of us do this daily without even thinking about it, but young children should be practicing this skill. Dice are a great way to do this in a fun, low-stress environment. You could roll dice for a number of children and make it a competition by seeing who can call out the correct number first.
Whose tower is tallest? You can combine the dice game with a competitive Duplos or Legos tower-building session. Take turns rolling the die and let it determine how many blocks you add to your tower. Whoever reaches 15 or 20 blocks in their tower first wins! You can also switch this up and set a timer – once the timer rings, whoever has the tallest tower is declared the winner.
A chalked number line. Draw a number line with the number 1-20. Many toddlers and preschoolers will be content to just spend some time counting up and down the number line, reinforcing those vital counting skills. Eventually, you can play “Find that number!”, calling out various numbers while your kiddos race to find them.
What’s in the jar? Another fun way to begin reinforcing number sense in young children is to play “Estimate what’s in the glass!” Begin dropping dice or small manipulatives (small toy animals can be useful in this game) into a glass, always dropping in more than 1 and less than 10. Ask your preschool to guess how many are in the jar. Fun prizes can be a great motivation to maintain a few minutes of attention and their observation skills will be strengthened.
One Great Local Resource
Growing IQ in Frisco is a fantastic early-math resource for parents. Using holistic, hands-on, activity-based programming, Growing IQ does more than just provide children with tricks or rote concepts – the curriculum and instruction help instill a deep understanding of mathematical concepts in young children.
Our primary goal in registering [our son] was to cultivate a sense of confidence and critical thinking so that he has a strong foundation for independent and collaborative problem solving. [He] consistently inquires when his next math class is ‘because I have so much fun there.’ Our son’s enthusiasm for his learning is a direct reflection of the diverse methodologies, creative efforts, and general warmth the teachers employ to facilitate student learning. Whether your child is struggling, excelling, or is simply needing just a little more direction in their understanding of how to practically apply mathematics in everyday life, Growing IQ is an outstanding program for your child’s development.
With fun games that can be played while dinner cooks, accessible activities that encourage family bonding, and resources like Growing IQ, there’s really no excuse – make this the year that your young child’s grasp of math concepts blossoms.