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Exercises to kick-start your child’s numeracy (Maths) journey

Once your child find joy in a challenging subject or task, there is no stopping them to do and excel in it.

Helping children to love math can be a challenge for most parents. Math is a skill that requires brainpower to master and this can be experienced by kids as hard work.

The next question you might ask is: “If so, how can we make it not feel like work? And instead, make it more fun and enjoyable for them?”

To do that, you can try to enhance the learning experience by infusing innovative ways to help make understanding of each concept fun! This not only helps to motivate the child but also increases the retention of concepts. Here are some exercises that can be useful to kick-start their fun mathematical journey:

Rote Counting

If you have ever heard a child count “1, 2, 3, 4…”, you have heard rote counting. This is the simplest number concept that children develop, and it refers to counting numbers sequentially. Rote counting is important as it forms the basis for understanding numbers and other math concepts such as adding, subtracting, measuring and money.

To help children rote count, you can try these exercises:

  • Toss a ball

Grab a ball and toss it back and forth with your child on the opposite end. When you start throwing, encourage the child to verbally state the next number in the sequence.

  • Introduce number songs

Sing and learn the song which has counting elements in them

  1. ["1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive"]

  2. Ten in the bed

  3. The Big Numbers Song

  • Number Puzzles

Invest in puzzles that will allow children to familiarise themselves with numbers, especially the double digits. This may help better their recognition of them.

Count Given Objects

Counting is the essential building block of mathematics and quantifying objects is an important aspect of our daily lives. By understanding this concept, it helps children make sense of the importance of “How many?”

Here is what you can do to enhance their experience:

  • Counting Blocks Provide a fixed number of blocks and get your child to orally count out aloud the quantity of blocks given. It would help if you line the blocks in a straight line. Thereafter, point to the first block in line and say “one” in your series of numbers. Next, point to the second block and prompt your child to follow through till the last block.

  • Introduce fun worksheets You can use your child’s favourite item in order to make it fun and motivating. Get them to count out the items in a picture:

Match numbers to objects

The ability to recognise numerals is an important skill to develop alongside counting. Being able to see the connection between numbers and any given objects builds in the child the ability to describe and compare sets. This is one of the stepping stones towards understanding the concept of addition and subtraction.

You can try these to make it fun:

  • Provide math counters to match corresponding numbers

Get a paper and section it accordingly to the numbers you want to teach. You may use any type of math counters (eg. Bears, Pebbles, Buttons) and get your child to place the correct quantities accordingly.