When we think about teaching children Maths, most of us think about numbers and working out sums. But Maths is all around us and helping our children build their mathematical knowledge can be easier than we think.
Counting songs and rhymes are a fun and easy introduction to numbers and their order. Singing Five Little Ducks, Ten in the Bed and Once I Caught a Fish Alive is a great way to start encouraging your child’s number knowledge while bonding by singing together. You can also count the trees or cars while you’re out walking. Point out the different shapes you can see around the living room or the park and encourage your child to do the same. Can they see something round? Something square? By asking questions like ‘How many circles are there on this car?’, you are encouraging counting and shape awareness. They might see four wheels, but they also might notice two round headlights.
Food shopping and cooking together offers lots of opportunities to build knowledge of weight and measurement. The next time you at the supermarket together, your child could help by picking a set amount of items you need. For example, they could count five apples to buy, or two cucumbers. Once you get home, they can help with weighing ingredients for cakes or cookies. Let them feel the difference in weight between the ingredients and talk about which is heavier and which is lighter. Point out how the numbers on the scale go up as the ingredients get heavier.
Playing with water is learning through fun. A few different sized plastic cups, bottles and containers is all you need to help your child begin to learn about capacity. Let them pour water, or rice, from one container to another. Talk about what happens when one of the containers is smaller than the other. This is a great activity for bath time, with a few empty shampoo bottles and plastic cups. Asking them how many cups they think will fill the bottle will help them to begin critical thinking and estimating. And they will probably be surprised at the answer!
Fostering a curiosity about the world through shared activities and play is key to building a solid foundation for not only wanting to learn at school and at home, but also for developing a joy of life that is so important for mental well-being as they grow. Learning about Maths need not be something to dread once they’re at school. It can be a lot of fun!
The Country Mouse Children's Nursery is an excellent nursery in Midhurst, 10 minutes from Petworth and 20 minutes from Chichester, with childcare places for 2 months-5 year olds. We can offer your child fabulous fun filled days of activities to help them learn and make lots of new friends. We have a beautiful large garden with brilliant outdoor learning. Please come and see us, our fantastic classrooms and our magical garden!...and our very special staff team.
Visit the Country Mouse Nursery Website at: www.thecountrymousenursery.co.uk