First Steps Toward Reading
- Use math words such as many, few, more, less, big, small to describe items. This will help children see that math concepts are all around their daily lives.
- Teach your toddler to count objects to 10. Try counting real objects like cars, trucks, toys or items around your house. This will help toddlers see that numbers and numerical concepts are everywhere.
- Learn to sort objects by size, by color, or by type. You can sort different kinds of pasta, pom poms, large and small objects, foam shapes or letters, etc. Sorting is a great way to introduce a larger math concept. Sorting can be done in a variety of ways (colors, shapes, size, objects), so it can start of as simple and become more complex.
- Learn to navigate in space (to learn the concepts of above, below, right and left, under and over). These positional words are a difficult concept but an important one. Using a well-loved object like a stuffed animal is most fun. Put the animal under the couch, next to the couch, on top of the couch. All great ways to introduce high level mathematical thinking.
- Manipulate and put together a simple puzzle from 2−4 parts without help. This ability develops gradually. This is great for fine motor, but placement, counting, hand eye coordination and putting things together.