Pretty much every week I don’t have anything to report on Anna’s adventures in math. It’s true that we don’t do a lot of “focused” math activities, such as counting trays, transfer activities, number coloring, etc. I tried them all, but… Anna finds all of them boring. Unlike many other toddlers, she is not exactly a hands-on learner. She likes hands-on activities only if they are presented as a game (for example, making necklaces out of numbered beads), but not as “work”. Nevertheless, I can see how her math skills progress rapidly, so we must be doing something right. So today I tried to make a tally of what we are doing about math:
- We do a lot of connect-the-dots activities – for whatever reason Anna really likes them and that’s how she learned to count to 30 or so. Usually we do it together, so it’s not too overwhelming to her. She connects 1 to 2, I connect 2 to 3, she connects 3 to 4, etc. Sometimes I wish she did more of them on her own, but I also know from our previous experiences that it’s just a matter of months before it happens.
- We read MathStart books. I am not sure how much math Anna really gets out of these books, but most of them are beautifully illustrated and usually have a good story in addition to teaching math. I love them.
- We play board games. Anna has no problems reading dice numbers, or moving the piece by the right number.
- Counting happens naturally during mealtimes – I gave you 2 M&Ms. How many more do I need to give you to make 4?
- We sometimes just count together for fun. I say 1, my husband says 2, Anna says 3, etc. She can go quite high that way and, hopefully, learns rules of making two digit numbers in process.
- We measure things – she plays with a measuring tape and a ruler, and we talk about how we measure different things – temperature, time, speed. She still confuses our kitchen thermometer with clock, since they are both digital and look somewhat similar :)
- We do an occasional worksheet or two, but we try it to be more about thinking skills and less about counting objects. I find it funny that while Anna understands such an abstract concept as addition quite well, she is not able to grasp simple patterns. Funny how their minds work sometimes.