Statistics repeatedly show that our children rank low in math skills. Early childhood educators know that good math skills begin in the early years by creating intriguing activities for young children that use math skills without them even knowing that they are using math. Summer offers a wealth of opportunity to get children involved in using math in their everyday activities.
Primrose School in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota uses an accredited math curriculum for its preschool and pre-kindergarten programs. Their Big Math for Little Kids is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers. Math is introduced to preschoolers in their daily routine with meaningful activities that involve counting skills, measuring skills, and patterning skills. Children explore with a teacher’s guidance and gain early math skills. Play is a major part in learning early math skills in the early years, and the curriculum at Primrose offers play activities in which children can use math skills.
Parents can also use meaningful activities at home to introduce early math skills. Young children will spend a lot of time outside this summer, and early math skills can easily be created to add some early math skills to summer fun. Sand and water play activities offer opportunities to count and measure. Scoops and shovels come in a variety of sizes for counting and measuring into buckets of varying sizes. Creating summer snacks also offer children the opportunity to practice math skills. Food items come in all shapes and sizes for creating a summer snack. Children can count the number of raisins needed, measure ingredients for a recipe, and identify the shapes of the many kinds of summer fruit. Many fruits have seeds that can be fun to classify into sizes and shapes.
Add some fun books for summer math skills, and children will easily see that they use math in everyday activities. Check out the included list of great books that are available to inspire children’s interest in math skills. The books in the list are available from www.kaplanco.com
Shapes in early math
“Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban is a great book to put into your summer play activities. Realistic photos in Hoban’s book give children the opportunity to realize that math is all around them. Adding this book to summer play and reading for encouraging early math skills will get children involved in using real objects to learn math skills while playing. They will begin to look at objects all around them to identify shapes. This book is available from www.kaplanco.com.
Apples and math
“Each Orange Has 8 Slices” with fun photos by Donald Crews creates an opportunity for some fun activities in counting and even introduces beginning fractions. Cooking and preparing summer snacks can offer great math skills for young children. Adding this book to cooking activities this summer gives young children the opportunity to see that food items can be used creatively to practice early math skills. This book is also available from www.kaplanco.com.
Reading and math go together
“Ten Black Spots” by Donald Crews encourages young children to use hands-on materials such as buttons to practice number recognition. Buttons are a great counting manipulative to use to place around the numbers in this fun book to learn the shape of numbers, which later translates into early writing with numbers. This book is also available from www.kaplanco.com.