First Steps Toward Reading
- Toddlers love to help. Have your toddler help you cook, read a recipe and retrieve items for the recipe. Even young children can help fill, stir, and pour. Through these activities, children learn, quite naturally, to count, measure, add, and estimate.
- Even without our support, infants and toddlers use math concepts to make sense of their world. Babies tell us—often dramatically—that they know the difference between familiar and unfamiliar adults (sorting and classifying). Babies can use great math skills such as signing the words more when indicating more food or a drink. Toddlers try to climb into boxes of various sizes (spatial relationships) and say words and phrases from familiar stories or songs that use repetition (patterns).
- Count everything around the house. Count arms, legs, toes, fingers as you are dressing your toddler. Count the stairs, windows, doors, everyday items around your house. “Let’s count the steps! One… two… three….” Count how many apple slices she has with lunch, how many fingers are on her hand, or red cars you see while driving. When you point to each object as you count, you teach your child one-to-one correspondence. One day she will learn to assign numbers to objects as she counts, too.