It is crucial to be good at math to survive in this modern world; even the non-math careers need sound problem solving and reasoning skills. Math comes into picture in our everyday life more often than we would like to admit. Parents who tend to make their kids aware of math in the early stages by explaining number and shapes are doing the right thing. The challenge; however is to come up with innovative ways to teach kids about math so that they start enjoying themselves.
Trying to get children thinking and learning about mathematics in the early years will lay a strong foundation which can be expanded as they grow. By asking them intriguing questions about math that are related to the everyday life can be fun and exciting, using guessing games which make kids to think about the various shapes, measurements etc. Before kids start to learn counting they must have a minimum level of understanding about number concepts.
Parents can talk about math while asking their kids to identify objects in the house that represent a rectangular, triangle etc and ask them how they’re able to differentiate. Starting counting exercises spontaneously with whatever is around! Just pique their interest so that they crave for more activities.
Let’s look at other things that will help kids get engulfed by math:
1. Using math apps
It is helpful to choose the apps that are specifically focused on the math and are in a way fun to do. There are so many apps available online for free that could teach your child math in a playful way. Though screen time is not suggested for children but letting them use it for the purpose of their development is totally fine.
Even non-digital games can also be played that compel a child to think in terms of numbers like monopoly. If the child is unable to answer it the question can be rephrased in a simpler terminology that they comprehend easily.
2. Pick up books with mathematics in them
Reading math books to your child can be a great investment that parents can make, while reading these books if there’s a question and answer session it can truly put things in perspective for the kid.
Choose books that cover the fundamentals of math that are used in the daily life like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. With a book having many interesting illustrations can keep the kid hooked to the book.
3. Spontaneous quizzes
Quizzes which are rewarding are invigorating for kids, and they feel like participating with lots of enthusiasm. Rewards need not be expensive gifts always; it can be as simple as spending time with them.
Let these quizzes have mental math involved in them. Mental math is carrying out the calculations without the aid of a paper and pen. When a child does lot of mental math it makes their mind sharp and alert and it can be of great help for a child to grow their problem solving skills as well as their error detection skill.
4. Making art out of math
An art out of math figures is sure way to make your child acquainted with the names of the different shapes. Give your child a sheet to draw the math-related figures like circle, triangle, rectangle etc. And cut out those figures to come up with a bigger picture like a bus, taxi or even moon.
All this while talk to them about the specialty of each and every shape. What makes that shape different from others? How many sides can they count in a shape or are connected?
5. Bring math into the activities they love
If your child loves travelling while on the move parents can ask few thought provoking questions like: ‘we would reach there at 2 p.m and now the time is 1:45 p.m how many minutes more to go before we reach our destination?’ the question can vary a lot depending on the child’s age or their comprehension criteria.
Always make sure that math is the underlying aspect of all the activities performed. If a child likes cooking or baking ask them to help you with measurements. Can they recognize the difference between tablespoon and teaspoon? This way they learn about math in a hands-on practical method.
You can introduce your child to math in their toddler stage itself, by involving them in a little bit of play that includes, counting, grouping things, playing board games that involves numbers like Monopoly or chutes and ladders, identifying shapes in the house, counting the items purchased at the supermarket and block building are some other convenient ways to let your child’s brain get its share of stimulation while on the move!
It is crucial to not make them fear math as an insurmountable mountain, do not in any way instill a negative opinion about mathematics that they start thinking that it is hard. Tell them the beauty behind every calculation.