You can use common objects and tasks to teach children maths.
We use maths words and ideas without even realising it – when we go shopping, prepare meals and do the washing. We can talk with children as we do these things together, so our children learn from us all the time. Ask the whānau:
- Have you got cups or plates that are different colours?
- Perhaps you’re saying things like ‘Here’s the yellow cup’ or ‘Let’s put these on the white plate’?
Ideas such as big, small and middle-sized, long and short, up and down, and heavy and light are all to do with maths.
We use maths when we’re sorting the laundry, matching socks and setting the table. When we talk about what we’re doing and get our toddler to help, we’re giving a maths lesson. ‘Here’s Daddy’s big red sock. Where’s the other one?’ ‘Can you put spoons on the table – one for everyone?’
Ask the whānau if you can look at the toddler’s toy box and have a conversation about the contents and what they could be saying about the objects.
You can make your own games by collecting shells, pebbles, leaves, magazine pictures or cards. These are good for matching, sorting and counting.
Playing with blocks, simple puzzles, posting boxes and peg boards help children learn about size, shape and colour.