AGE 1: “Ten Little Fingers” Nursery Rhyme
Some research has shown that kids may not fully understand the meaning of number words until they are around preschool age, but according to a new study published in Developmental Science, babies may recognize that counting indicates quantities at a much earlier stage in their development. This is why we start incorporating and teaching counting songs on a daily basis in the one year old classes at PRLP!
Singing to your child is a great way to introduce numbers and counting! Below is a nursery rhyme our teachers use in the 1 year old classes. This song is simple, easy to learn and visually engaging for teaching.
AGE 2: Ladybug Activity
All you will need for this fun activity is red paper, black paper, scissors, a sharpie, and tape or glue. (Please be sure to pre-cut all circles before the activity for children under 4.) This activity is all about recognizing numbers and counting. Cut out 10 big circles of red construction paper and a bunch of 1-inch black circles. Write the numbers 1–5 for young toddlers and 1-10+ for preschoolers. Point to a number on a red circle and ask them to say the number, then ask them to glue or tape the same amount of black circles on it.
For a more advanced version, draw a line down the middle of the red circle and ask your child to put a certain number of black dots on each side. For example, ask them to put 3 dots on the left side and 5 dots on the right side of the ladybug.
AGE 3: Patterns with Gummy Bears
Once children start looking for patterns, they will see them everywhere. They will start to notice patterns in colors, shapes, sounds, dances and even daily routines! Recognizing patterns is a key foundation for the development of math skills.
Learning patterns with gummy bears is a great math activity to do with 3 year olds. You can use real gummy bears (or other candy treats) to encourage each child to interact. For a more simple and sugar-free approach, you can color patterns on paper using different shapes. Try having your child pick out the colors!
Example 1 is an AB pattern, meaning two colors alternate in the pattern. Example 2 is an ABC pattern, meaning there are three colors in the pattern.
Create patterns for the child to solve! Once they have the hang of it, let them create patterns for you!
Example 1 (AB Pattern)
Example 2 (ABC Pattern)
PRE-K: Greater Than/Less Than Song
Singing can help children improve their capacity for learning. Music also serves as a mnemonic device for certain skills and knowledge. When learning something new through song, children are developing their verbal skills, motor skills, memory skills and social skills.
Below is a song one of our Pre-K classes uses to explain how to tell if a number is greater than another number. The alligator always eats the bigger number! Our teachers show two separate numbers and sing the song with the class. Our students absolutely love when it’s time to shout out which number the alligator will eat next! This is an easy and fun game/song to use at home to help students learn “Greater Than/Less Than.”
KINDERGARTEN: Race to Fill the Cup
This game is fast paced and competitive. You can have the student play on their own while timing how long it takes to fill the plastic cup with legos, or you can join in on the fun and race them to fill your plastic cups all the way to the top. Supplies needed: Plastic cups, dice, legos (you can also use marbles or any other small toys you have around the house) and a timer. To play, roll your single dice and look at the number shown. Count out that many legos and add them to the cup. Keep rolling the dice until the cup is full!
For a more challenging option, roll two dice and add the numbers shown together to figure out how many legos to add to the cup. This option is more time consuming, but is a great way to practice addition!
TIP: If the student is still learning the rules of addition, have them count out legos for each number on the dice separately. Once they do this, have them count aloud the two sets of legos to get the answer. For example, if they roll a 4 and a 6, have them count out 4 legos and then 6 legos, and then count all of the legos together to find the final answer. Enjoy!
Authors: Ms. Alisha, Ms. Rebecca and Ms. Brittany
Contributors: Ms. Bridget, Ms. Katie, Ms. Mikita, Ms. Tera and Ms. Kelly