Although you may not sit down and teach math to young children as a structured activity, they are constantly exposed to math concepts in their environment. From stacking blocks to sorting colors, these different activities allow them opportunities to expand their minds in order to learn new concepts. Allowing time for these activities is essential for a child's growth and development.
Below are some questions and answers that may help you as a childcare professional in regards to exploring math in the classroom.
Question: Will labeling an infant’s surroundings help them develop math skills?
Answer: Yes, this can support a language and text rich environment for infants, and as they grow and become more aware of these words and labels they will absorb them more and more. The other important thing to realize about math is that there are many vocabulary words that labels and print rich environments can help with. The more you can expose children to the language of math, the better situated they will be for developing those number skills.
Question: How do you encourage math exploration when the children do not seem interested?
Answer: It is important to realize that math exploration is included in almost every activity that an infant or toddler participates in. The block building area is a prime example, even if the children are not counting or sorting the blocks, they are still experimenting with spatial awareness and concepts of size and position. Try adding colored blocks to the block area or different types of blocks to add more math concepts.
Another suggestion is to add more math concepts to activities that your group really likes. Do they love singing and music? The rhythm in the songs has a pattern and repetition to it that supports math concepts. Try a fast or a slower song. Let them listen to the beat and help them clap along.
Question: What are some good resources to help toddlers learn to count?
Answer: Toddlers differ in their amount of fine motor control, so objects that can be sorted, classified, and manipulated easily are great places to start with counting. Some resources that you may find useful are:
Question: How are colors connected to learning math skills and concepts?
Answer: We provide several categories of mathematical concepts that can include colors in our course Math Exploration for Infants and Toddlers. Though this is not an exhaustive list by any means it gives you an idea of some of the ways color is represented through math. If you are interested in enrolling in the course, please use this link to register:
For more information on The Math Learning Center,
register for our one hour course:
For more information on Math Exploration for Infants and Toddlers,
register for our three hour course:
Have information to share? Please use the comments section below...