The math concepts your child learns in preschool will build the foundation they need for the rest of their academic career. Before they begin adding and subtracting, however, they must be able to count. Counting is typically included in preschool curricula, but you can supplement these lessons at home to get your little one ahead of the curve. Here are a few preschool activities to try with your toddler to make counting easy and exciting.
5 Ways to Practice Counting With Your Toddler
1. Sing a Song
A fun, catchy rhythm will quickly grab a young child’s attention. Count to the melody of popular nursery rhymes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Wheels on the Bus.” Some songs, such as “Five Little Monkeys,” already incorporate counting into their lyrics. You and your toddler can count using the tune of these songs and hold up your fingers to show the numbers, which will help your little one make associations.
2. Count During Cleanup
Turning cleanup time into a counting game is a productive way to learn. While helping your child pick up their toys, count each one you drop into their toy box or basket. Not only will this teach your child numbers, but it’ll also encourage them to put away their belongings, which will reduce messes.
3. Play Hopscotch
This classic game brings math outdoors and encourages children to stay active. All you need is some chalk and pavement. Draw the game board on your sidewalk or driveway, then show your toddler how to play by hopping over the numbers and reading them aloud as you do. This game can also be played with their friends.
4. Feed the Animals
This preschool activity calls upon your creative side. Draw and cut out a simple cartoon depiction of your child’s favorite animal along with the foods they would eat. For example, you could draw a monkey and bananas or a dog and bones. Ask your child to “feed” the animal with the food cutouts, counting how many meals they’ve had as you go. If you aren’t confident in your artistic abilities, you can print pictures from the internet for the same purpose.
5. Make Beaded Jewelry
Arts and crafts are popular preschool activities that develop creativity and fine motor skills. Sometimes, they can even overlap with math. To do this, purchase a variety pack of colored beads and cords to make friendship bracelets and necklaces with your toddler. You may find these in kits at a toy store. To help your little one learn to count, establish a number of beads you need to create a pattern, then count along as you string each piece. For example, necklaces might be composed of three purple beads before two green ones. This way, you’ll practice counting, spend quality time together, and have adorable matching jewelry to show off later.
Serving families throughout Monroe County, NY, Mendon Child Care Center strives to create a strong foundation for future education in a warm and nurturing environment. Their pre-K programs are full of exciting preschool activities that will feed into your toddler’s desire to learn. This will help set them up for success later in life. Visit their website to learn more about their curricula or call (585) 624-2337 to schedule a tour of their facilities.