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Mathematics is fun!

We love introducing mathematical concepts to preschoolers using challenging and fun games.

This year we will continue to invite children to play lots of matching games where they use their memories to find sets of two and count how many sets they have.

There are many wonderful games that you can purchase or you could make a matching game for home.  It’s really important that we make numbers fun and exciting for our young mathematical learners.

Maths On The Run

Rather than taking the ‘sit down and teach’ approach when introducing your children to maths concepts at home, it’s much better, less stressful and more fun to do maths on the run.  Here are some ideas.

Number Recognition 

Mailbox maths – As you walk around your neighbourhood, look at the numbers on mail boxes.  Talk about the number on your own house and then notice the numbers on the houses either side of you.

Car Rego Snap – look at car regos as you drive to the shops.  See who can be first to spot two cars with the number 2 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9!) in their registration plates.

Handy Helpers - Ask your children to spot the house/shop/business number that you are looking for.  Ask them to find the right number aisle in the supermarket.  Ask them to fetch their t-shirt with the number 10 on – instead of referring to it by colour or design.  

Understanding Numbers

Most children can rote count from 1-10 (and often much higher) by the time they go to school but they don’t necessarily understand that each number refers to a set amount or group of objects.  Once your little one’s are happily spotting numbers without difficulty, start playing games that build up their understanding of the meaning behind numbers – often called ‘one to one correspondence’ (ie that the number one means 1 button and the number two means 2 buttons).  This understanding is the basis for higher order calculations such as addition and subtraction. 

Count the cars – arm your children with a notebook and pencil.  Take a crayon and make a block of that colour (say, blue) then ask the children to make a mark on the paper every time they see a blue car during your journey (great for short trips).  When you stop, count the number of marks with them (or let them do it, if they are able) and write down the appropriate number beside the marks.  

Numbers are everywhere.  Playing number games with your children improves their basic maths knowledge, entertains children on journeys and can also be a lot of fun.

Remember - When children lose interest, stop and do something else.  We have to respect their attention span and interest if we want to keep it fun.  Maths done little and often will add to children’s understanding of the way the world works and help to create lifelong learners with open eyes and minds.