Maths is all around us and you will find your children will pick up number and shape through their toys, through general speaking and in the world around them. So when and how do you start teaching maths to your very young children? I’m sharing some tips on how to get started. These tips are aimed at 3-5 year olds and you can extend their learning by teaching more numbers or as you see fit. The key thing is introducing the concepts in maths through fun and play, so here are my Top 10 maths teaching tips for 3-5 year olds. You can watch my Teaching Tips video on Maths below too, where I take you through all these tips in details and more on shape and measure!
1. Teach Maths through Stories
One of the thing you may find your children enjoying most at this age is story time! So why not introduce maths through stories. There are many to choose from, here are some we recommend: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, One Ted Falls Out of Bed and Counting Cockatoos
2. Teach Maths through Songs
There are countless songs on YouTube and other places for your child to start singing and learning numbers. A few classics we enjoy are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive. What are your favourites when teaching your kids numbers?
3. Number Flashcards
Make large, colourful number flashcards, laminate them so you can use them for all your maths counting activities.
4. Counting & matching amounts to number
A great way to start explaining number is by counting. Count sweets, beads, cars, toys, teddies – whatever they enjoy playing with. Talk to your child and ask them to give you 3 sweets, pick and hand each one to you as they count. Then show them the number that represents 3 for example. You can find loads of different ways to include this in your art sessions – “lets stick 3 buttons on the Gingerbread man picture” for example.
5. Ordering numbers
Order the number flashcards on a hanging line using pegs. You can do this in various ways – be sure to go through the correct order for counting before you start this activity.
6. Arts and Crafts Maths
There are so many ways to include number and all maths into Arts and Crafts. Think number of dots on a butterfly, how many fish can you catch? weaving a spiders web using numbers to help with direction and so much more!
7. Colour by number
This is a nice way to learn colours and numbers at the same time -my girls love colour by number activities! You can easily purchase colouring books or find sheets online.
8. Number Towers
Use lego, duplo, wooden blocks to make towers. Hand your child a number flash card, can they make a tower with only that number of lego or blocks?
9. Writing numbers
We love making any kind of mark making or writing fun. So for number writing we try to be as creative. Use sponge numbers, write numbers using chalk outside, use q-tips with paint, write in sand, string and glue, and so much more. You can find more creative ways of writing on this blogpost.
I love including IT in our learning. There are some great apps that you can download on a tablet, but even simple games for the laptop or PC. I recommend the following websites: Topmarks and ICT Games. If you have any more to recommend for us, we would love to hear from you below!
For a summary and details on all the above, watch my Teaching Tips video where I take you through the basics of teaching maths to your 3-4 year old.
Have you got any additional maths teaching tips to share with us? We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions below!
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