Practice of mathematical skills can be very easy if only you learn how to notice the opportunities during each day. Some parents do it intuitively for example by counting the stair, counting the birds on a fence or explaining the sequences like day and night, seasons, months or teaching the correct order of numbers and letters while singing or chanting.
While playing with my group of 4-year-olds I love to use all the possibilities to teach them many mathematical skills. One of examples can be categorizing. No matter if we play with cars or dolls. All kinds of toys are great to practice it. Divide the toys into small and big, soft and hard, groups of different colours. Involve your child it this process and ask him or her to fetch something that is... e.g. round. Ask kids what other difference they see. It might be very interesting because children see it in much more creative way. So remember not to criticise them even if their way of thinking is different than yours. Later on you can compare them and put in a row starting with the biggest and finishing with the smallest. Or with the lightest colour and finishing with the darkest. There are many possibilities to do it, depending on what you play with. Comparing practice sensitiveness of perception in all fields.
One of my favourite activities is putting the objects, no matter what it is, in a sequence. It doesn’t have to be toys. You can use buttons, cutlery, fruits or anything you have by our side. With young children start with some simple examples. In the beginning introduce a pattern made of two types of objects (e.g. banana-apple-banana-apple). The task for your child is to recognise the pattern and complete it by adding next objects in the proper order. At first name aloud used object. Thanks this the kid not only sees the pattern but also hears it. Children can also touch the objects for better kinaesthetic perception. Progressively make the patterns more and more difficult by adding more types of objects and mixing them in a different way (e.g. blue-red-red-green-... block or spoon-spoon-fork-knife-...). Each time make it more challenging. After some time let your child set the pattern for you. It will provide him or her a lot of fun. You can pretend that it’s very difficult for you and ask for help. Let your child also explain the set patterns. It will show you the way of thinking. Remember to praise your child. Don’t practice setting the patterns for too long. It will discourage your offspring and won’t be exciting for her or him anymore.
Noticing patterns in very important ability in everyday life. It helps children to develop their logical thinking and seeing them in everything that surrounds us (e.g. coats of animals such as tigers and zebras, cycle of day and night or 5 days of going to the kindergarten and free weekend, setting the table). By practicing and showing different patterns you will be amazed how fast your child will find them alone.
Absolwentka studiów licencjackich Pedagogika Przedszkolna i Wczesnoszkolna oraz studiów magisterskich ze specjalizacją Wczesne Nauczanie Języka Angielskiego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.