From the archives: December 2012
This time of year yields lots of discussion on a number of topics such as family traditions, make believe vs. real and generosity. Yet math is very present in the holidays too! Patterns can be seen everywhere whether it is lights on houses or presents lined under the tree. The act of gift-giving is often defined by children in mathematical terms like ‘large or small’ and ‘few or many’. Mathematical thinking is an important skill for your child to develop in order to count and to solve problems that use numbers, size, or shape. Help your child develop their mathematical thinking skills with these few tips:
- Count out loud in everyday routines. Count your child’s toes as you bathe, the buttons as you dress, and the number of steps as you walk.
- Talk about size and shape. Help your child learn the meaning of “big” and “small.” Point out shapes of common objects—for example, the ball is round, the present is square.
- Use positional words like over, under, and above.
- Play with puzzles and blocks. Putting parts together will help your child learn to problem solve and begin to develop spatial awareness.
- Teach your child what a pattern is. Ask your child what comes next in a pattern of blocks or plate of cookies or fruit.