Early years are important. The amount a child can learn during these years is phenomenal. A little helpless baby you bring home soon starts turning and then sitting in a matter of months. Before she hits her first birthday she is running, understanding language and some even talking. This is truly amazing and almost impossible for adults. And that’s just the first year we are talking about. Over the next two years, the neurons in your child’s mind fire relentlessly to make millions of connections. Such is the growth during the early years that it stays unmatched throughout life. And that’s exactly we need to focus more on these precious early years.
While language develops almost naturally by listening and vocalizing, young children need help with critical thinking and mathematical abilities. Mathematics often is the most feared subject among students but if we do our
Groundwork early, we can actually lay the foundation of sound mathematical skills. The mistake most caretakers make, however, is they limit the math skills to counting. Math is anything but memorization.
So, a child who knows counting but do not understand quantification has learned little. What the child has picked up is the jargon and not math skills.
Here is an activity to do with your child to pave the way to strong Mathematics skills. It is great way to build analytical and math skills in young children. What you need for this activity is buttons and loads of them. We prefer chunky big ones mixed with medium and small sized ones.
Mix all sizes of buttons and put them in a tray. Once your buttons tray is ready, ask your child to sort them according to the following attributes:
• 2 holes and 4 holes
• With edges and without edges
Sorting is a great way to help young children think. This simple, one material sorting activity helps your child discover various attributes about an ordinary button. Shape, size, number of holes, edges all are important mathematical concepts. What we are essentially doing is condensing a lot of math in a simple, fun activity. A child when sorting for an particular attribute not only has to look for the desired characteristics but also learns to ignore the ones not possessing the desired traits. It seems simple for adults but quite complex for young children. This activity is great for children aged above 2 years old. It helps them with fine motor skills besides classification skills.
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