Enjoying maths through games, rhymes and songs

Maths is an area of learning that many of us find challenging. Our previous experience may make us think maths is ‘hard’, dull and not very exciting! However, maths is an essential part of everyday life so it is very important that we don’t pass on these negative messages to our children.

Young children develop their attitudes to life by observing adults closely and then following their lead. By being a ‘maths enthusiast’ yourself you will be acting as a very positive role model for your child. Having fun with numbers, singing number songs and rhymes and playing with shapes and patterns is a good way to achieve this and playing alongside your child may even make you feel more excited about the fascinating world of mathematics.

In early years settings over the years, different terms have been used to describe children’s experiences in the area of mathematical development. These include arithmetic, mathematical development, problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy. All these essentially mean the same thing – maths. As adults it is important that we act as good role models for children, showing them how we use maths in daily life. This could be as simple as talking about how old people are – all children seem to be fascinated by the number that relates to their age – or looking for house numbers and talking about addresses on letters and cards.

In the early years setting, practitioners use lots of different play opportunities to help children develop their basic understanding of maths. These include counting games, exploring shapes, matching things, sorting objects by size and shape, making patterns, recognising written numerals. You can support your child’s learning at home by looking for lots of different opportunities to play with numbers and shapes, indoors and out of doors. Indoor and outdoor games are great ways to practise mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding. For example:

  • dominoes and lotto encourage number recognition and counting
  • card games such as ‘Snap’ and ‘Happy Families’ give practice in matching, sorting and recognising similarities and differences
  • board games, including ‘Ludo’ and ‘Snakes and Ladders’, support counting, number recognition and one-to-one correspondence
  • traditional games such as hopscotch, skipping, hide and seek and ‘What Time is it Mr Wolf?’ involve number recognition, counting and measuring time
  • all types of races involve an understanding of distance, time and first, second and third
  • team games such as football and soft cricket foster an awareness of space and direction as well as encouraging children to play together cooperatively.

Read more @ http://www.teachingexpertise.com/articles/enjoying-maths-through-games-rhymes-and-songs-11944

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