One area that is sometimes overlooked in young children is math competency. As an adult who declares she is “horrible with numbers,” it is difficult for me to get excited about creating interesting math lessons. However, if I take a step back from my own feelings about math and look at young children, I see that numbers and numeracy concepts are still magical for them. They haven’t yet been sat down and told there is one way to count or one way to solve an equation. Children enjoy counting, breaking things apart and putting them back together, comparing different objects to learn about their size, shape, and texture, and completing many other math related activities. Through their own exploration, they are learning important math concepts.
My own daughter is showing an interest in counting. She loves to count to ten and then yell “BOOM!” When we are reading a book, she points to things such as a picture or words on the page and assigns them a number. I’m not sure what her little mind is thinking but I know that I shouldn’t waste this interest in counting. To extend her learning, I’ve started to incorporate numbers into her play to help her recognize the numbers she is counting. We also have started to count quantities. Below you can see some pictures of math provocations and games that I’ve set up for her.