Teaching Mathematics in Early Childhood Through Play

The Problem – I am not good at math

I have heard adults and children proclaim that they are not good at math. Some people believe this because they received bad grades in this subject in school. Furthermore, they had a difficult time understanding various mathematical concepts. Many of us believe math just comes naturally for some people. I discovered that this is simply not true. Teaching mathematics in early childhood is one way to combat this belief.

You mean people can improve their math ability?

Yes, people can improve their math abilities. I remember reading the book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn Nabrit. The author details why and how she homeschooled her boys. When it was time for her sons to go to college, she talked to a college admission counselor about what they look for when admitting students to their school. Of course they mentioned grades among many other aspects of a student. The counselor said good reading scores starts early in childhood; however, with practice many students can raise their math scores later in life.

How can this be done?

Dr. Ben Carson gave a lecture on PBS called, The Missing Link: The Science of Brain Health. In this talk, he gave tips on how people can optimally utilize their brain. Dr. Carson addressed the fact that many people find math difficult. He says that anyone can be good at math. Math is a subject that builds upon the previous concept. He said that when people have trouble with math it is because they failed to understand the previous concept given to them. It is important for students to go back and make sure they understand the foundational ideas before they move ahead to the next.

It just takes practice and effort.

Why is teaching mathematics in early childhood important?

When many people hear the word “mathematics” they tend to think of numbers, equations, and theories. However, math is so much more than that. It is a part of our everyday interactions and children naturally practice mathematics as a life skill whether we notice it or not.

For example, a child knows that if he or she has one cookie and his or her sibling has two cookies, then there is a difference. If a child has played with a toy for five minutes and another child played with it for fifteen minutes, they can feel the discrepancy. In the examples above, children are using mathematics to decide how they should feel about certain situations. 

If our children naturally practice these skills, why not foster their learning by connecting it to their interests and incorporating it into their play and daily routines?

We will discuss some ways to do this later.

My son is three-years-old. He was curious about multiplication after seeing the x sign. I showed him how to complete multiplication problems through drawing pictures.
In this picture my son is three-years-old. He was curious about multiplication after seeing the x sign in his play math set. I showed him how to solve multiplication problems through drawing pictures. He is solving the problem 8 x 2 =
He is writing the correct answer 16  on his V-Tech Easel.
He is writing the correct answer 16 on his V-tech easel.

What are the important mathematical skills in early childhood education?

Colors

Colors, shapes, and spatial reasoning are a few important mathematical skills in early childhood education. Colors help children organize and bring logic to their world. Identifying colors helps a child create a link between visual clues and words. Colors aid in giving children the vocabulary needed to describe the world around them, which opens up new verbal channels for them.

For instance, children often distinguish the difference between foods such as fruits and vegetables by their color. Furthermore, when your child is painting or coloring, most often they will make the sun yellow and water blue because this is familiar to them. It helps to organize their creation.

Shapes

Shapes are not only important in math, but also life in general. A child who can identify shapes will learn how letters of the alphabet are formed. This prepares them to have better handwriting skills. For instance, the letter O is basically a circle.

Also, the knowledge of shapes is useful for building, which is an introduction to engineering. My son learned a lot about what shapes to use when building certain structures with his magnetic tiles. He learned that rectangles and squares make great bases or foundations for towers. His towers are made with hexagons, squares, and triangles. From these experiences, he was able to apply his knowledge of creating basic structures to making them more sophisticated and complex.

Spacial Reasoning

A child uses visual spatial skills daily when he or she imagines where a toy in their room is located before going to get it. Another example is when a child is packing their book or duffle bag; they visualize how different items can fit together to maximize storage capacity. Furthermore, when a child puts together a puzzle, they imagine where pieces go before putting them in the correct place.

What are the methods used to teach mathematics?

There are so many methods to teaching mathematics besides worksheets. My favorite method is playful learning which may include games, hands-on activities, and the use of toys. These activities will help you to make the information active to your child. This is important because learning comes to life for a child when they do something with the information.

Examples of fun activities you can do are to go outside, collect and count rocks, and sort them by color and texture. You can also build a math activity around your child’s interests. If your child likes cars, have them construct numbers in sand or mud with their toy vehicles. You can also create a road with tape in the form of numbers. Then have your child follow the path with the cars. If you have a child that likes dolls or stuffed animals, then help them do a role play as a teacher teaching their dolls how to recognize numbers. 

The possibilities are endless!

Want more FUN ideas for teaching early childhood mathematics?

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!

The book above, Teaching Mathematics in Early Childhood: Simple Activities That Make Learning Math Easy and Fun has over 200 activities, tips, and resources. It will give you fun playful activities on how to expose your child to the following concepts….

  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Sorting and Organizing
  • Number Recognition and Counting
  • Estimation
  • Measurement
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Skip Counting and Multiplication
  • Money Recognition
  • Time

Many of the activities can be done with household items and materials. This book also gives its readers tips and resources such as children book suggestions, videos, music, toys, and playful materials.

How do I know these activities work?

These are the activities I have used to teach my son, Cory, early childhood mathematics. Currently he is five but does math on a 4th grade level.

Cory really enjoyed learning math because the activities were hands-on, playful, and fun. He connected with the concepts because he was able to experience what he was learning through engaging games. Additionally, when you use fun learning and play to expose a child to math, the information tends to stick faster.

There is a quote by Dr. Karen Purvis that says “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!”

This is why playful learning is important, effective, and efficient!

Keep learning and having fun!

How to Put Together a Time Capsule

Below is a guest post.

A time capsule is a container that you fill with items from the present day, such as school work, newspaper clippings, or small toys, and hide away to open on a predetermined future date. Putting together a time capsule is the perfect way to spend a cool evening or rainy day with the family. Read the details below to create your own time capsule.

First choose a time capsule container. A shoe box or large mason jar work great! Once you have your time capsule container you’ll want to figure out what you include. Consult the checklist below with your kids to help spark some good ideas. Make sure your kids choose items that won’t be missed too much. Remember, you’ll be hiding away the time capsule for some time. 

Next have your kids write a fun note to their future selves! This can be a great way for them to capture their present interests and aspirations. The template below makes writing this letter easy. Just fill in the blanks! You can always add additional details.

Finally, you’ll want to set a date for when you plan to open the time capsule. This is completely up to your family! You can wait a few months, a year, or even a decade! Keep in mind the longer you wait, the more entertaining the reveal might be!

Download the full time capsule activity from Coupon Chief below to help you put together the perfect time capsule.

How To Make A Glider With Paper – Easy Paper Airplane For Kids

Inspiration for how to make a glider with paper

I remember watching Sid the Science Kid cartoon with my son. We watched the “Sid Wings It” episode where he and his classmates learned how people were exposed to flying by observing birds in nature. They also explored a special exhibit showcasing gliders, flying contraptions, and jet planes at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

At the end of this episode, Sid and his father make a paper airplane. After watching this, my son wanted to make one. We got one sheet of paper and started making a paper airplane like the one in the cartoon. My son flew this airplane and had a blast.

Curiosity is growing

Pretty soon, he started getting curious about other paper airplanes we could make that would fly higher, faster, and longer. We watched some YouTube videos but couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for.

About four months later, I found a book at the library called, Show-How Guides: Paper Airplanes: The 11 Essential Planes Everyone Should Know! by Keith Zoo. Once I showed my son the book, he gathered notebook paper and started making paper airplanes. We love this book because it shows each airplane’s airtime, acrobatics, uniqueness, speed, and distance.

Airplane with Air time

Making paper airplanes is a fun DIY STEM project where you can discuss with kids the scientific law of aerodynamics. The law has three basic components: thrust, which moves the plane forward, draw, which holds it back, and lift which keeps it airborne.

My son wanted to share his favorite airplane, which is the glider, with you. He loves this paper airplane because it loops and has a lot of air time. Plus it is easy to make and only requires one item, which is paper.

How to Make a Glider with Paper

In the video below, my son will show you how to make the glider.

This video comes from my son’s YouTube Channel called, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. This channel has science experiments, DIY projects and learning games for kids. Please subscribe and share if you like what you see.

Enjoy flying this airplane!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

Halloween Activity for Kindergarten – Magic Potion Recipe for Kids

The fall season is here but Halloween is right around the corner. Therefore, I wanted to do an activity with my son that connects with the season. We decided to do a Magic Potion Recipe that would incorporate science.

We used the classic chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar. However, we added an element of surprise by adding some color to our magic potion. We found a way to hide the color so a person could not see it until the baking soda and vinegar reacted with one another.

This Magic Potion activity reminded me of something a magician or wizard would do in a fairy tale story. Once the potion came together, my son was happy with the results. I think your child will have the same reaction if they did the experiment as well.

The results were a colorful mini explosion that overflowed out of the glass jar. Another benefit in doing this experiment is that you can explain the science behind the mini explosion.

Why it works?

  • As the baking soda mixes with the vinegar, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
  • The mixture creates a lot of gas, which results in the chemical reaction.

Below are the materials we used...

Baking Soda

Vinegar

Aluminum Tray

Food Coloring

Watch the video below to see the Magic Potion Recipe. This video comes from my son’s Youtube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe and share if you like what you see.

Have fun with this experiment!

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OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

How To Make A Catapult Easy – Fun Activity for Kids

One day during snack time, I saw my son, Cory, put a spoon on the edge of his plate. On the spoon was one of his crackers. He took his finger and pressed the handle of the spoon causing the cracker to fly in the air. My first thought was to tell him to stop and eat; however, this time I realized he was doing a science experiment.

I told my son that he made his own catapult, which is used to throw objects over a far range. This is a great STEM project for kids to do. Afterwards, I went to the kitchen and gave him a cup. I challenged Cory to get the cracker in the cup with the catapult he created. He did that for about 20 minutes and then ate the rest of his crackers.

Whenever, Cory has an interest in something, I try to use it as a fun learning opportunity for him. The next day we went to the library and checked out the book called, Make a Catapult by Meg Gaertner. This book explained the science of catapults, how they work, and its various types. At the end, it showed us how to make one with materials we had at home.

The book grabbed Cory’s attention! He was most excited about making his own catapult. After creating the catapult, we played a competitive game to see who could get the cotton ball in the cup the most times.

Below we will show you in a video how to make a catapult.

How To Make A Catapult Easy

The video below comes my son’s YouTube channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe if you like what you see. We post fun hands-on activities weekly.

Here are the materials for the Catapult

Have fun with this project! Encourage your kids to do more hands-on STEM projects. It helps them learn how things work and get their creative juices flowing.

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

ABC Hide and Seek Game – Easy and Fun Activity for Kids

Learning the ABC’s doesn’t have to be a boring task for kids. There are many ways to make it fun and engaging. In fact, here at over 100 activities, tips, and resources.

My son learned the alphabet at an early age. However, we still love to create games that are based on the letters. One activity we created is called the ABC Hide and Seek Game. The game will help children learn and review their letters in a fun way.

We incorporated one of my son’s favorite toys, the Geo Safari Walkie Talkie. We used it to communicate various clues to one another during the ABC Hide and Seek Game. Don’t worry if you don’t have walkie talkies, each player can give clues by simply talking in a normal voice.

ABC Hide and Seek Game

Below is a video of how we played the game.

The video below comes from my son’s YouTube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe and share if you like what you see.

You have the option of making this an indoor or outdoor activity. Add more learning to this game by having children identify the phonetic letter sound once they find it. Here are other fun activities to learn the alphabet.

Remember the alphabet is one of the first steps to teaching a child to read. If a child does not know the alphabet first, it will be hard for them to connect letters to make words. Therefore, play this game so they can get the fundamentals of reading and literacy in a fun way!

Have fun with the alphabet!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

How to: Cable Car Toy | Simple and Fun Engineering Project for Kids

My son and I love to do DIY projects around our home. There is something special about taking household materials and creating something that is fun to play with. At first, we decided to make a Cable Car Toy so that we could send messages back and forth to one another.

However right before making the Cable Car Toy, my son decided he wanted it to transport his toy cars to race on this Hot Wheel track. This ended up being a fun activity to do.

The best thing about making it is that you most likely have all the materials in your home. Below is what you will need….

Watch the video below to learn how to make the Cable Car Toy. The video comes my son’s YouTube channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like the video and subscribe if you like what you see.

Once you have made the Cable Car Toy, have your child move the string in various directions. This is great time for them to make observations about how the string and the sandwich bags can move forward or backwards.

You may use this toy to send messages, toys, and small household objects etc. Next time, we will use it to pass math problems to each other. This will incorporate fun learning. The sky is limit with this project.

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

Family DIY Chalk Paint Activity

Below is a guest post.

Are you looking for the perfect activity to do in the final weeks of summer? This DIY chalk paint activity is great for the whole family! Younger kids can enjoy using this decorative paint (that easily washes away!) to create sidewalk masterpieces, and older kids or adults can use it to make fun or inspirational chalkboard signs to display around the home!

Check out the step-by-step guide for DIY chalk paint below and also be sure to download some or all of the three awesome stencil packs that both kids and adults can use to elevate their chalk paint art.

Guide to DIY Chalk Paint

The process of making your own chalk paint is simple! You just need water, cornstarch, and food coloring. Once you mix together these three basic ingredients, you’re well on your way to creating masterpieces at home.

To help guide your artwork, download these stencil packs:

The visual from Apartment Guide below goes over how to make your chalk paint. You can also find some cool ideas for how to use it at the end. Happy chalk painting!

Simple Circuit for Kids – How to Power a Light Bulb with Play-Doh

Introduction to A Simple Circuit for Kids

My son was first exposed to a simple circuit for kids as a three-year-old. For his birthday, my brother brought him the Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100. I thought this toy was too difficult for my son to grasp. As I was looking at the front cover of the Snap Circuits Jr box, feelings of intimidation came over me.

However, because this toy was for my young son, I was determined to figure out how it works. After reading the directions and doing three of the projects, I started to like this toy. It was a fun puzzle.

That evening I showed my son the circuits and he liked it. He liked the result of flashing lights, space sounds, and fans blowing.

Let’s Get More Exposure

The second time my son built a simple circuit was at our public library. They had a STEM program for kids where they participated in fun scientific projects. My son was a little young for the program but because we knew the librarian, she decided to let him (as long as I helped him).

We made circuits out of coppper wire and graphite. These projects were amazing and fun to do.

Covid-19 Changed Everything

Now that Covid-19 is here, the library is not doing the STEM program anymore. Therefore, my son and I have decided to do STEM projects like creating simple circuits for kids at home. Today we will show you one of those projects.

We called it the Play-Doh Circuit. It is fun and easy to do. The best thing about this activity is you don’t need many materials. While doing this project, your child will be amazed to learn how Play-Doh can create electricity.

Below are materials need for experiments.

LED 5mm Light Bulb

9v Battery and clip

Play-Doh

If you want to do it, watch the how-to video below. The video comes my son’s YouTube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe IF you like what you see.

Have fun with this project!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.

DIY Boat for Kids – Fun with Balloons and Water

I love finding materials around our home to make toys and use for science experiments. It is an excellent way to recycle and make good use of what you have. My son has adopted the habit of recycling items like water bottles, plastic tubes, paper towels and toilet paper rolls. He puts them in our science drawer. Surprisingly, we don’t have trouble finding fun projects to do with these materials like the DIY Boat for Kids.

This week we are showing you how to use household items to make a DIY boat for kids. The best thing about this project is it involves water and balloons, which are two of my son’s favorites. The DIY boat for kids incorporates the science of using wind to make the boat move.

You only need the following ingredients…

While doing this experiment, my son and I discussed how the air in your lungs is used to provide energy for the boat. You may also introduce your child to Newton’s third law of motion which states for every action, there is an equal and opposite action. Our DIY boat for kids is a great example of this law because it moves forward by the air pushing the water backwards.

This boat also makes a bubbly motor sound in the water, which your kids will love. The best part of this activity is it is easy and fun to do.

If your child is like my son, they will want to activate the boat repeatedly.

Watch the video below to see how it is done.

The video below comes from my son’s YouTube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe to the channel IF you like what you see.

Have fun with this activity!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS $29 OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE.

Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

THE TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A $97 DISCOUNT.