Math for Infants to Age Five
“If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” ~ Vince Gowmon
By the time we reach adulthood we have forgotten what it was like to learn with the excitement and enthusiasm of a child. We take for granted the colors and shapes around us. We have known them for so long. They are just there, just everywhere, a part of our daily lives for as long as we can remember. But, to a child being introduced to a big, blue, round, bouncy ball… it is a whole new world. That ball is teaching her math, her first experience with geometry.
Math for Infants to Age Five
Teaching math for infants to age five is like opening a Christmas gift that just keeps giving. With the introduction of each new shape comes great enthusiasm and the desire to know more, do more. As the child begins to learn a shape, they look for it out in the world. The world brings them more shapes, different colors, different textures, and patterns. The possibilities seem limitless.
In this article, Kidz World is providing links to different math concept videos for teaching children ages infant to five-years-old. These concepts can be taught at home and many are used in a childcare center. These are simple little things, many of which you already do, but aren’t aware you are actually teaching a math concept. Watch the very short videos and join your child on the floor for a wonderful and exciting geometry lesson.
Short Math Concept Videos
Developing computation skills from birth to five-years-old seems more like play than learning, but that’s exactly what we want parents to understand. Children learn through play and with a little guidance from the parent those skills get extended and honed.
In this video we see a child helping her mother clean. She is counting the squirts of Windex and the number of paper towels. She is not only learning to count but also learning to add from the mother saying, “one more”. Taking items and forming comparison groups is a good teaching method for math. Asking questions that stimulate the child’s thinking such as which group has more or less inspires them to count and compare. Soon they will be able to visually know that a group of five is more than a group of three.
We start teaching our children math right from birth. As soon as the child is born, we count those fingers and toes. As a parent, it’s just something natural we do and don’t consider it as the child learning. We count those toes, we sing counting songs, we count the items in our shopping cart, we count down the days until the next holiday off from work… we count all the time. It’s counting out loud with your infant that inspires the learning process. They learn one-to-one correspondence from you saying the number as you point to the object.
I consider spatial awareness to be one of the first big lessons in math. Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organized knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationship of these objects when there is a change of position.
Many things can be learned when doing block play. The child in this video is learning the concept of in and out. Where are the blocks in relation to the tube? Can you put the block in the tube? Can you take the block out of the tube? These are questions parents can ask to inspire learning.
Everything around us is a shape. Recognizing shapes allows us to learn more complex lessons like matching, sorting, comparing, nesting, assembly, and patterning. An infant in this video is exploring geometry through play with a ball. As the child ages, she will be able to tackle nesting like a toddler in the video who places the parts together by size. This is a huge accomplishment for the child and the parent is there to support and encourage her.
Patterning is a great way to teach a child the daily routine. In this video, a child is learning the flow of their day. As adults, we take this for granted as our routine becomes habit. A child needs to learn the schedule to provide reassurance and familiarity… comfort to them. They learn breakfast is the first meal of the day, lunch the second, and dinner the third. In this video, the child learns that naptime comes after lunch, just like in daycare.
When we think of measurement we automatically think of length, height, or weight. For a child, measurement is so much more. It’s part of spatial awareness. It’s words such as full, empty, tall, short, sooner, later, above, below, before, after… etc. Time has to be explained in a measurement they will understand. Break the timeline down for them, for instance, we are going to grandma’s tomorrow. At first, the child will not understand “tomorrow”, so, you tell them after you go to bed tonight, then wake up and eat breakfast, and lunch, and take a nap, then we go to grandmas. You will probably have to repeat the timeline numerous times throughout the day. The child learns the order of things happening in their schedule.
In this video, the toddler is learning the concept of full and empty by her father filling the cup and her dumping the cup. This is quite often a fun game in the bathtub.
No matter where you, there is always an opportunity for a teaching moment. In the car, driving down the road, in the kitchen cooking, doing the laundry, watching TV… we practice math concepts all day, every day. Count out loud, play can you find a square sign, show them the pattern on a traffic light, sort dishes into cups, plates, forks, spoons… there is so many ways to teach a child math. All of them lead to inspiring your child to learn with enthusiasm and excitement.
Author: Belinda Davis ©2018