The best way to teach maths to a pre-school aged child just starting out is to use practical methods.
For example, you may be shopping and you need two cans of tuna. Ask them to get the cans from the shelf
and count with them, do this with the many other items that you need. This example can be used for almost
anything you do around the home as well. You can even use this example going to the park or down the
street or just about everything you do. Another example is counting steps on a walkway….
just a few steps to start with and add more steps as knowledge increases. Have fun doing it by
making up funny step movements.
You need to be aware that your child is going to learn quite fast and you need to be two steps ahead or even three to keep motivating your child to learn more and more concepts so of course you need to learn how your child is coping with the challenges you are setting them and adjust them accordingly. Remember to make everything you do with your child fun if you are not having fun then they won’t either. In many of our articles on education we stress not to ever talk down to children, never ever treat your child as if they are stupid. This will only earn you disrespect and it will take much more effort on your part to gain the lost respect back. Yes, children need to know that they get things wrong but you should never belittle them.
Most children respond to the use of props. It won’t hurt to buy some if you can afford it and try them out. Use the props you get for games that you can make up yourself. Number flashcards and molded plastic numbers can be useful to help your child understand the written shape of numbers and compare them to their understanding of quantity as you are teaching in a more practical way. You may also want to use the flashcards in conjunction with wooden cubes when counting in greater numbers to assist with the concept of quantity.
If you choose to make props, I believe that your child will treasure them more than if you buy them so it is up to you what you use to motivate your child. Remember if you’re enjoying what you do, your child will be having fun too. If you make some props make sure you get your children to help with the task. This is where you can teach more concepts like measurement, volume and weight.
I hope you will become more inspired to spend more time teaching mathematical concepts to your children and many other wonderful things along the way. If you need some helpful educational material then don’t forget to check out the products from our shopping cart.
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