Early Numeracy Skills for Your Toddler
Early Numeracy Skills for Your Toddler
The ability to recognise and use mathematical concepts in all facets of life is known as numeracy. The best way to learn numeracy is by observing and participating in it in daily play and activities. Your toddler develops communication, imagination, and other abilities for understanding maths concepts through talking, everyday activities, play and reading. Physical activities such as running, skipping, cycling, jumping, and dancing help improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight and reduce the likelihood of developing health conditions such as heart disease. These activities also help children develop and promote a healthy attitude toward living an active lifestyle as adults. Exposure to the sun also provides them with Vitamin D, which aids immune system development and allows our bodies to heal more efficiently.
You’d be surprised at how open-minded toddlers are to learning new things, including simple equations, numbers, and shapes. In this article, we’ll share the importance of developing early numeracy skills for your toddler and how to nurture them.
Numeracy in the Early Years
Early on, a child’s perception or understanding naturally dominates their thinking. It’s important to give them opportunities to:
– Investigate using objects
– Listen to the sounds made by the words that describe the objects
– Examine images of the items
– Recognise written symbols or words in their regular play activities
– Discuss how they resolve issues when speaking
This allows them to develop abilities and ideas like number sense, pattern recognition, ordering, comparison, sorting, and matching basic spatial relationships.
The Importance of Numeracy Skills
Early maths skills are used by kids in all of their daily routines and activities. This is encouraging news because having these abilities is necessary to prepare for school. Early maths does not, however, entail using a calculator while playing. Most kids learn addition and subtraction through their daily interactions even before they enter school.
Just as a house is built on a solid foundation, more complex mathematical abilities are based on an early maths “foundation.” You can encourage the development of early maths skills in toddlers by introducing concepts like:
1. Number Recognition/Sense
The first step is to recognise numbers. Toddlers learn about numbers and understand their value in relation to the world around them by using tactile materials.
They better understand the concept of numbers and their relationships by learning to count and by developing their number sense. Toddlers should be given learning opportunities that require them to count, compare, combine, and disassemble numbers.
Dice games are an underutilised resource for fostering numerical literacy. Start with simple games where players take turns rolling the dice as they become more at ease. Once the dice have landed on a number, call out an exercise, such as jumping jacks or spins, and count out each movement until the dice have landed on the desired number. This demonstrates to kids the various ways that numbers can be represented.
This involves measuring an object’s length, height, and weight in terms of inches, feet, or pounds. Your toddler’s understanding of maths depends on their ability to understand scale and measurement.
Following are some ideas and family-oriented activities:
– Discuss with your child the surroundings’ items. Help them determine which is taller or shorter, bigger or smaller.
– Help your child construct a block tower that is taller than one of their favourite toys. To determine the height of the tower, have your child count all the blocks.
– Who can jump the farthest? Measure and estimate. How many buttons can you fit in a jar?
– Take note of any weather or time of day changes. To gauge and track the amount of rain, make a “rain gauge” out of an old bottle.
3. Simple Spatial Sense
Toddlers who are spatially aware can better understand the connections between things and their surroundings, as well as between their body and other things. They can represent the locations of objects in space through a variety of experiences, such as building structures out of blocks and other 3-dimensional materials or manipulating shapes like tangrams and pattern blocks. Toddlers who stack objects can discuss the item at the top and the item at the bottom. Movement is implied by directional words like up, down, left, and right.
They can also use them as they play games and engage in physical activities, or they can play with toys that can move, like cars and trucks.
4. Observing Patterns
Toddlers who learn about patterns are better able to solve problems through logic, prediction, and logical connections. Numbers, shapes, and images that repeat logically are called patterns. Children can learn to predict outcomes, comprehend what will happen next, connect logical dots, and use reasoning skills by observing patterns.
Before asking kids to extend and create patterns, give them a chance to recognise patterns in their surroundings (such as the stripes on a zebra, patterns on fabric, and patterns on wrapping paper). They can practise pattern recognition by stringing beads or arranging pegs on a pegboard in particular configurations, such as red, blue, red, blue, red, and blue. Children can also make patterns with sounds and motions.
Children will start to make their own patterns once they are able to recognise the underlying order and predictability in the patterns they observe. To increase their awareness of different patterns, more growing patterns—like AB ABB ABBB—and repeating patterns—like ABC, AAB, and AABB patterns—could be introduced.
All in all, giving your toddler the chance to understand, use, and apply numeracy concepts and skills in meaningful ways throughout his or her daily experiences should be the main goal of developing their numeracy concepts and skills. Children’s prior knowledge is built upon when providing them with numeracy experiences, with a focus on learning through the manipulation of tangible objects. They become aware of the connections between groups of objects that need to be matched, sorted, compared, ordered, made into patterns, and counted through the use of manipulatives, pictures, and symbols. Additionally, they will improve their knowledge of fundamental geometrical shapes and basic spatial notions.
Math QuestTM, one of our Core Foundational Learning Programmes, helps toddlers understand numeracy ideas before they formally begin studying mathematics. Numeracy skills grow significantly in children’s early years, and they have a big impact on how well they do in maths in primary school.
Simple mathematical concepts are taught to children using a variety of activities, games, toys, and materials that develop their logical reasoning and spatial awareness. Kids are given interactive, engaging learning materials that are concrete, pictorial, or abstract to keep lessons interesting and enjoyable. By the time they are six years old, they will have progressively mastered counting, pattern recognition, relationship recognition, taking measurements, naming shapes, and spatial concepts, in addition to fundamental mathematical ideas like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.