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Home LOGGING Journal Introducing Math To Preschoolers | Numbers All Around

For Austin, his world is made of numbers. His exposure on numbers was way before his first birthday. Thanks to the tiny little board books that I purchased from Ross. I believe he had been reading in heart as early as his fingers could flip the little books. Play that blending in numbers certainly are very interesting to him. He writes and makes plenty of doodles with numbers, that something that I have no doubt at all. On top of that, I wish he can turn these numbers into a learning exercise. The intention here was to recognize numbers in our environment, identify the use of numbers and aware that numbers do lots of wonders in life.

What do we play?
We build, we sell, we count, we add and we have plenty of fun!! Briefly, we set up a shop to sell stuff that we build. Sound cool?

Begin by describing what we are going to do: We are going to set up a number shop!
Then, throw questions to preschoolers e.g. What would you like to sell? Hints: car, camera, pet, food.
Continue to probe e.g. if you wish to sell cars, how could we get the cars ready? Hints: We can build, we can search for toy cars at home, we can borrow from friends.

In our play, we leverage on one the classical building pieces - Connectagons. This is a blend of imaginary design and practice on fine motor skills. You may go for other options e.g. play dough (food variety especially), Lego, origami designs - paper products, or even a collection of readily playstuff e.g. telephones, books, socks, bags.

For Austin, he decided to build a star, a car and a number '6' while I composed a fan, a watch and an aeroplane. Then, I asked Austin to set a price on each product that he built. I insisted that he had to put a dollar sign ($) to make the connection on the use. He even confirmed before continuing on second piece, "Must have 'S' and 'evelen'?". Yes! For each and all.

After that, we display all the products in our 'shop'. Daddy who pretended to be our first customer walked in to look around. Daddy made up this mind to purchase 2 products i.e. six and car. Hence, Austin who is our little shop assistant had to add up the amount.  Here comes the math!

Six       152
Star  + 160


Then, get him to box the product and hand over to 'customer'. On top of this gesture, you may create some dollar notes in the order of 100, 10, 1. When 'customer' hands over the money, you may ask your little shop assistant to count if the total is matched to the numbers he/she has added up earlier on the bill. You may repeat the purchase by alternating roles.

Starting with this kind of math play, I bet your little one would soon be asking for 'Monopoly' board game. Happy experimenting!


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