There are certain foundational mathematical skills that preschoolers should develop before entering primary grade. The main objective of introducing early math is to help our little learners organize the world around them.
We may not realise this but there are many day to day experiences in which preschoolers encounter math. Sorting their toys, stacking books, matching their shoes, sharing food equally with friends or estimating how tall a stool they need to reach their favorite sweet dabba; are all everyday activities that use a mathematical skill to arrive at a solution.
Preschool children do develop math skills naturally, but there are also several guided activities that can open their mind to a variety of math based skills. In this blog, Kutuki’s team of early educators have curated activities aligned to specific math concepts that you can try with your children at home.
Before we jump into the activities, we’re listing down the important early math concepts that are developmentally appropriate for preschoolers to know before they enter primary grade :
Number Sense – Number Sense refers to the ability to count fluently. It includes concepts like counting, number identification, understanding bigness and smallness of numbers, adding and subtracting.
Patterning – Pattern Prediction is nothing but identifying and replicating repetitive objects like shapes, images, numbers or other similar objects. You can also watch our beautiful story ‘Match the Ice-Cream’ which explains the concept of patterns in a fun and thoughtful way. Download the Kutuki App now ! (Kutuki for Android or Kutuki for IOS)
Spatial Sense– The concepts like shape identification, differentiation, size, volume and position come under this category. These are aimed at inculcating the concept of spatial awareness to preschool children.
Measurement – As the title suggests, under measurement children learn to explore the length, height, weight of different objects without getting into the units of measurement.
Sorting and Matching- Sorting, Classifying and Matching helps children to gather objects based on similarities or differences and categorize them into groups. It helps them to organise things around them.
Now that we know some of the most important concepts of early math, let’s take a look at all the activities that can help your child learn early math skills in the most natural and engaging way.
Pegs and Popsicles
Here’s the perfect activity for you. All you need is just a few coloured paper cut into small circles, a handful of popsicle sticks and some pegs. Now, cut small circles out of the coloured papers. Once they are done, stick one circle on a popsicle stick, stick two circles on another stick and continue this process until you stick ten circles on a popsicle stick. The idea behind this activity is to ensure that your child can learn to count with the help of the circles and place the peg while counting the number out loud. Let’s suppose that your child picks the popsicle stick with eight circles; they will automatically understand that they will have to place a peg for each circle. In the process they will count out the number aloud while placing peg on the popsicle stick. In this way they will be able to connect a number to its quantity.
Shapes with Bindis
What if we told you that you could learn shapes through something that is readily available in the dressing table of most Indian homes. With bindis, you can teach your child shapes in the most interesting way. Try to pick up bindis with different shapes, sizes and colours too.They can be triangular, rectangular, semicircle, square or circle. You can perform the sorting and matching activity with bindis. For children under four, use only one variable to sort the bindi i.e. you can teach your child to sort the bindis by colour. For kids above the age of four, use two variables such as colour and shape and perform the activity, i.e. you can ask them to put all the round red bindis together and so on.
You can also check out our story “Priya’s Live for Bindis” on the Kutuki App, where little Priya learns to sort and match bindis of different shapes and colours with her mom. Download the Kutuki App (Kutuki for Android and Kutuki for IOS) now and start to watch our story today.
Watch the story ‘Priya’s Love for Bindis on the Kutuki App now.
Shapes out of straws
This activity requires very little material and preparation time. All you have to do is take some A4 size sheets and draw shapes like square, rectangle, triangle, pentagon and so on. Make sure you draw only one shape on each paper. Now take different coloured straws and cut them into different sizes. You can cut it into any size you like and keep them ready. Now provide the sheet with the shape drawn to your child and ask them to place the straw on the outline of the shape. At every stage, guide them to place the straws on the outline of the shape so that the shape is recreated out of straws. This activity will help children in understanding and recognising shapes and build spatial sense.
Sounds interesting right? Follow these activities and let us know your feedback. If you are looking for more math lessons and activities with expert guidance, enroll into Kutuki’s Interactive Math Program for children from ages 3-7 years. New batches for Kutuki’s Live Phonics and Math Programs are open. Drop us a Whatsapp Message and speak with our Academic Counselor today.