Maths skills in early childhood are incredibly important for children to learn and form building blocks for ongoing skill development later in life. Numerical reasoning forms the basis of so many tasks that we perform as adolescents and adults, and the skills that are used to perform these tasks first take hold during formative years; within an early childhood education setting. Learning to count, to add, to subtract and tell time are some of the first numerical skills that children learn. These skills can be taught by a few simple activities within an early childhood education setting. We describe a few of these activities in the following article.
Maths Game #1: The Number Line Game
To begin the Number Line Game, participating children will each pick a card representing a number. The number they choose corresponds with a position on a number line drawn on the floor with tape. The children are told to find their position on the number line and to remember their number and the order in which they stand. Music is played and the children dance around the room, then, when the music stops, they must quickly find their position on the number line again. The game teaches order and helps to develop memory skills. The game can be further developed by making the last child to find their position when the music stops “out” and excluded from future rounds. The last remaining child at the end of the game wins a prize.
Maths Game #2: Graphing Hearts For Valentine’s Day
This game can be used to teach children to draw graphs and understand comparisons. A line graph is used along with paper hearts to measure love. Children need to be instructed on how to draw a graph and provided with a number of paper hearts they will stack up to represent their feeling of love. Four or five columns should be drawn and the children encouraged to use as many hearts as they feel necessary to measure love. The activity is a good way to individuate as children can use as little or as many hearts as they want. It teaches the elementary principles of line graphs and how graphs represent numbers.
Maths Game #3: “O” How We Love To Estimate
Children can learn spatial reasoning and estimation by playing this game. The aim is to guess how many Fruit Loops or Cheerios can fit in a circle drawn by children. Children will draw a circle on a sheet of paper and will then guess how many of the aforementioned food stuffs will fit in their circle. Some children will have more accurate guesses than others, and at the end of the activity, everyone gets to enjoy a snack. The game encourages self-expression in that each child will draw a circle of a different size. Some will prompt a correct answer by drawing a really small circle, while others will draw bigger circles in order to explore their estimation skills to a deeper extent.
Maths Game #4: Raindrop Graphing
When it’s raining consistently, children can develop their estimation skills further by drawing a measurement on a cup and predicting how much rainwater will fill the cup during the school day. The game instills an interest in meteorological phenomena and forces children to use their guessing skills in order to correctly predict how much water will be in their cup by the end of the day.
At Robyn Taylor Early Childhood Centre, we encourage our students to develop their mathematic abilities. We often play number games as part of the Robyn Taylor early learning method. If you would like to book a tour of our early childhood education centre or enrol your child, please use our contact page to reach out to us or call on 02 9705 8309.