All children are unique individuals. They all act, play, and express themselves differently. As parents, we quickly discover our children’s preferences in all things. We also generally try to accommodate these preferences – preparing our children’s favourite foods, reading their favourite stories, or getting them clothing in their favourite colours or styles. Children even learn in different ways, for instance they can be:
- Hands on learners
- Visual learners
- Auditory learners
Below is a list of activities that appeal to a wide variety of learning styles. There is no need to set aside time in your busy day to sit with paper and a pencil. Find what works best for your children and remember that the best opportunities for learning are the ones that are fun and occur naturally.
If your children love to sing and dance, here are some great songs to share. These songs are not only fun, but they support the numeracy concepts of number sense and counting. Once your children have learned these songs, try making up your own!
- 5 Green and Speckled Frogs
- Ten in the Bed
- 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
- 5 Little Ducks
If your children have an artistic interest, let them create! Provide them with a variety of items to use in their creations. To support the concept of early numeracy, let your children explore colours, textures, shapes and sizes. Here are some ideas to inspire your little artists to create some fun art.
- Choose a number and draw it on a piece of art paper. Have your children glue that number of items on the page.
- Have your children choose their favourite colour and draw all the things they can think of that are that colour. Choose a new colour each day.
- Collect items from nature to use in a collage. While creating the collage, discuss the shapes of the items, which items are bigger and which are smaller, and which are smooth, bumpy or rough.
Play With Your Food!
Cooking and baking with your children are perfect opportunities to explore early numeracy in a variety of ways, such as:
- Following a list of instructions: what do you add first, second, etc.
- Measuring ingredients: fill it full, use half, add 2 spoonfuls, etc.
- Timing: bake for 25 minutes, mix for 2 minutes, etc.
Hand your children a ruler, a stick, or even their shoe and let them measure items around the house or outside. How many shoe lengths is the kitchen table? How many stick lengths is your bed? Is the bed longer than the table or shorter?
Board and card games are wonderful opportunities to spend time with your family and practice numeracy skills. Rolling the dice, moving spaces along a game board, and following directions are just a few of the numeracy concepts supported by playing games.
Don’t feel the need to go out and purchase a board game if you don’t already have one. There are many games that you can play as a family that do not require any materials at all.
- I Spy: focussing on colours, shapes and textures in your search
- Scavenger Hunt: let your children choose the items to go searching for
- Simon Says: Take turns being Simon, giving commands such as Simon says jump forward, Simon says spin 3 times, Simon says move fast
Once Upon a Time
Most children love to read or be read to. Sharing stories is a perfect opportunity to explore numeracy with your child.
- Count items on the page
- Find all the circles, squares, or triangles in the drawings
- List all the colours you see
- Predict what will happen next in the story
Opportunities to support your children’s early numeracy exist in the everyday activities that you are already doing! For more ideas on how to explore these learning opportunities visit us at 3,2,1, Fun! Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at Brander Gardens Elementary School.
Visit our website for more information about the 3,2,1,Fun! program.