Your child can begin learning early math concepts as early as three years old. Before they enroll in kindergarten, you can introduce them to math through hands-on activities that are used at your local Montessori elementary school. This post covers a few interactive activities that will give your child an easier time internalizing their math lessons.
Addition and Subtraction
This activity teaches on-the-go addition skills. It’s best for preschoolers or children who’ve mastered counting skills (counting their fingers, toes, and then other objects) and have a basic understanding of addition. Draw a traditional hopscotch grid on your sidewalk with chalk, then have your child add the numbers as they land on each square.
For beginners, start off with single digits. As your child improves, you can ask them to land on numbers that add up to a larger one. Then you can add the subtraction function, jumble up the numbers, and expand the hopscotch grid.
Math Beach Ball
Another hands-on activity is to inflate a beach ball and cover it with a variety of numbers. Toss it to your child to catch with both hands. Whatever numbers their hands cover, they have to add. For beginners, you can space out single-digit numbers so they have easier equations. As your child progresses, you can group the numbers closer together so their hands land on larger equations, or incorporate subtraction.
For a more physically active game, lay out a Twister play mat and place numbered sticky notes on each dot. Instead of telling them to put their hands or feet on certain colors, give them a simple math equation to solve. For example, “Red hand, 5 minus 3.” You could put multiple Twister mats next to each other to include more number/color combinations and make room for yourself or another child.
Identify Basic Geometric Shapes
Build 3D Paper Shapes
Print out templates of 3D geometric shapes for your child to cut and tape together. Keep the shapes simple, and print cubes, cones, cylinders, and pyramids. Kids typically don’t learn about geometrics until elementary school, but it helps to have a basic introduction beforehand. Have you child make observations about each shape, such as which sides are the same length, and which sides are of different sizes or shapes.
Early Math Concepts at Your Local Montessori Elementary School
Hill Point Montessori is dedicated to building confidence and lifelong skills through hands-on lessons. Our elementary programs are designed for children 6-9 and 9-12 years old. Schedule an in-person tour to learn how we teach math concepts, and please note that masks and social distancing are required.