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Build Early Math Skills at Home with These Five Simple Math Activities

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

The simple truth is this: When young children build an understanding of math concepts early on, they are better served for life. Research shows that a child’s understanding of simple math concepts by kindergarten is a key predictor of that child’s later academic success—not only in math, but in reading, too.

Here are five simple ways that parents can help young children build early math skills, from early math expert Deborah Stipek:

Compete in card games, like “Go Fish.”

In this game, each player takes turns creating pairs of similar cards by either asking other players for a match from their decks, or by “going fishing” in a communal open deck. This game helps very young children learn to recognize patterns, and improves their counting skills.

Play board games.

Chutes and ladders, for example, teaches counting, colors and the concept of taking turns.

Point out shapes in books you read together.

Children’s books depict many different shapes that you can sort and discuss together. Just ask your child to point out those shapes, i.e. Do you see a rectangle in the picture?

Go on shape or number hunts through your home.

Point out that the clock is a circle and the TV is a rectangle, for example. Discuss how the numbers on a telephone, clock, or elevator are useful and you can help your child learn about the importance of numbers in daily life.

Count together.

You can count anything with your young child, from the number of buttons on a shirt to the number of forks needed to help set the table.

Get more tips, information, and advice on building early math skills from Deborah Stipek here.