Yes, math, kids and everyday life are essentially linked with each other. Our daily lives are woven round the many concepts of maths and if, as a kid, one fails to understand mathematical logic (and their connections with our daily lives) one is bound to fail miserably. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that while teaching math, kids be allowed to explore and discover the world of math around them.
Studies of human and animal nature have proved that the learning process becomes easier if one is having fun, enjoying the things one is doing. It is truer of kids and so math lessons for kids need essentially be planned around fun everyday activities and games. This way kids will pick up the basics of maths easily, acquiring a comprehensive understanding of mathematical logic. Later in life, this will help them approach advanced math problems like algebra, fractions, geometry, percentage, even puzzles and statistics, et al in a positive frame of mind.
To get started with pre-school kids, you can come up with some fun-filled activities (as also games) introducing elementary math concepts. Help your child make numerals with his / her play dough. Write down numbers between 0 and 9 and have the kid color it or decorate it. Have your child read out the numbers in calendars, hoardings, letterboxes, nameplates, etc.
You can also arrange group games for kids to help identify and memorize numbers. Hand a small card with a number inscribed on it to each kid and place a large number card on the floor. Ask the kid with the matching card number to come and sit on the large card. Continue until each one in the group has found a match for his / her number. Parents can also try out hide-and-seek games hiding number cards throughout the house and asking the kids to find them.
When it comes to perfecting your child’s counting skills, you can again go for some practical activities and games. Have the child count the number of snacks and candies given to him / her. Counting body parts will prove doubly helpful – the child will get to learn the names of body-parts and have a good counting practice. Games like dominoes also give counting practice.
For a group counting math activity, stick colored number-stencils on a board (any numbers, say 1 to 10) and have some color buttons in a bowl. Ask the kids, one by one, to glue match the number of buttons against each digit pasted on the board. This group activity can become a solo activity with a copy and colored stickers to replace the board and the buttons.
There are numerous games and logical thinking activities, measurement activities, shape activities, etc., which can further hone your child’s math skills. Thus, have your child measure a table with his / her tiny little hand or have the distance between two points be measured in the number of steps the child needs to take instead of getting started with scales and measuring tapes.
You can have varied shape cakes and breads baked to get your child interested in geometry. Draw out shapes and have the kids outline them with colored threads and laces. Evoke logical thinking in your kid by getting the child involved in grouping/ classification activities. Games based on comparison (between groups, sets, etc.) also aid sharpen math skills.
Fun activities and games can indeed make the process of learning math easy and effective. They lay the basis for a strong foundation in math. Kids, side-by-side, benefit from the practical application of math in life – getting their initial trainings in listening to and following instructions, developing planning skills. This is the math, kids and even adults love.