How to Reinforce Early Math with 5 Games and 1 Great Resource

This post is sponsored by Growing IQ

When asked about important early-learning activities for young children and preschoolers, most parents would list reading – and rightly so! The important bonding and development created by those hours curled up on the couch with piles of books are irreplaceable.

But preschoolers should be introduced to math concepts too! More and more research is indicating that children are born with an innate mathematical sense that simply needs encouragement to be unleashed – and more and more research is proving that unleashing this math sense early is indicative of future success.

Especially since so many jobs of the future are predicted to demand math and reasoning skills, investing in math foundations at the preschool level will pay abundant dividends later.

In just a few minutes per day…

growingIQ_boysmilingThe goal of early math success becomes less daunting when parents realize that math competency can be developed in just a few minutes a day. There are simple games and activities that you as a parent can engage in that will provide your children with the critical awareness that will help them grasp more difficult math concepts later.

Here are five games that you can play with your kiddos while the pasta boils to help instill a strong foundation for later math concepts. (While these are geared towards younger, preschool-aged children, older children may enjoy and benefit from these as well!)

Five Simple Games

Dice games. A fundamental skill often taken for granted is something called subitizing. This is the ability to look at a small quantity of something and perceive how many items are in the group without actually counting. Most of us do this daily without even thinking about it, but young children should be practicing this skill. Dice are a great way to do this in a fun, low-stress environment. You could roll dice for a number of children and make it a competition by seeing who can call out the correct number first.

Whose tower is tallest? You can combine the dice game with a competitive Duplos or Legos tower-building session. Take turns rolling the die and let it determine how many blocks you add to your tower. Whoever reaches 15 or 20 blocks in their tower first wins! You can also switch this up and set a timer – once the timer rings, whoever has the tallest tower is declared the winner.

child blocksDuplos and Legos. Speaking of Duplos and Legos, these are great tools for helping young children grasp whole/part concepts. For instance, if you have a tower of ten, how many different ways can you combine the blocks to make two towers? (8+2, 7+3, etc.) What’s bigger, the 3-block tower or the 7-block tower? The 8-block tower or the 2-block tower? This kind of conversation and manipulating of physical objects can help impress an indispensable understanding of numbers onto young minds.

A chalked number line. Draw a number line with the number 1-20. Many toddlers and preschoolers will be content to just spend some time counting up and down the number line, reinforcing those vital counting skills. Eventually, you can play “Find that number!”, calling out various numbers while your kiddos race to find them.

What’s in the jar? Another fun way to begin reinforcing number sense in young children is to play “Estimate what’s in the glass!” Begin dropping dice or small manipulatives (small toy animals can be useful in this game) into a glass, always dropping in more than 1 and less than 10. Ask your preschool to guess how many are in the jar. Fun prizes can be a great motivation to maintain a few minutes of attention and their observation skills will be strengthened.

One Great Local Resource

Growing IQ in Frisco is a fantastic early-math resource for parents. Using holistic, hands-on, activity-based programming, Growing IQ  does more than just provide children with tricks or rote concepts – the curriculum and instruction help instill a deep understanding of mathematical concepts in young children.

growingIQ_kidsatmathtableAs a mother herself, Uma Mohan, owner of Growing IQ, is passionate about creating a program that instills pattern recognition, critical thinking, and math concept mastery in young children. Testimonials like this one from happy parents, abound and testify to the program’s success:

Our primary goal in registering [our son] was to cultivate a sense of confidence and critical thinking so that he has a strong foundation for independent and collaborative problem solving. [He] consistently inquires when his next math class is ‘because I have so much fun there.’ Our son’s enthusiasm for his learning is a direct reflection of the diverse methodologies, creative efforts, and general warmth the teachers employ to facilitate student learning. Whether your child is struggling, excelling, or is simply needing just a little more direction in their understanding of how to practically apply mathematics in everyday life, Growing IQ is an outstanding program for your child’s development.

growing-iq-logoGrowing IQ is a local gem – far beyond a typical supplementary learning center, it specializes in unique programming that relies on preschoolers sense of touch and desire to play as an avenue towards math success.

With fun games that can be played while dinner cooks, accessible activities that encourage family bonding, and resources like Growing IQ, there’s really no excuse – make this the year that your young child’s grasp of math concepts blossoms.