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Everyday Opportunities for Math

Adding math awareness to your child’s daily routine can be fun and easy. Learn more about everyday math opportunities here.

Boy with special needs in chair learning to count

Introducing math concepts begins through play – that’s how young children learn best. You can easily incorporate math into things you're already doing together throughout your day. It’s never too early, and it’s fun and simple!

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Count those fingers and toes, and everything around you. Blocks, books, toys, you name it. You can do this anywhere! At the supermarket, count out apples as you place them in the bag; when you’re out for a drive, count cars on the road or people walking up the street. At snack time, count slices of fruit or bites together. “Let’s have two crackers!” or “I’m going to fill your sippy cup half way with water.”

  • Talk about things that are big, medium, and small. “That’s a big truck!” and “That’s a small shoe.”

  • Give your child simple tasks in the kitchen like pouring and measuring ingredients. Explain to your child the difference between a cup of flour versus a teaspoon of cinnamon. Sort through your ingredients and kitchen tools together by color, shape, size or type (round objects like apples oranges; silver objects like spoons and forks, etc.).

Mother teaching boy how to cook
  • Encourage simple play like stacking blocks or filling containers with water in the tub.

  • During story time, choose books that not only include numbers but also shapes. Identifying triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles is considered to be an early form of geometry. Sort your books together by shape and size (square board books, rectangular board books, small books, large books, etc.). 

  • Sing songs that incorporate numbers and counting, like “Five Little Monkeys,” “Ten in the Bed,” and “One Potato,Two Potato.”

Check out more activities and ideas to build your child’s math skills.

Check out our “Early Math Activities” board on Pinterest for more inspiration!

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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