Counting and Sorting
Counting is a concept that is basic to beginning math skills. There are many times throughout the day where counting can be naturally and easily incorporated into the daily routine. Whether you are on a walk, having snack, picking up toys or in the car there are many opportunities that arise. Similarly sorting is another base concept that is easy to talk about throughout the day. In addition you can plan for activities that build math skills that are simple and you probably have what you need in your home right now.
Counting and sorting can be incorporated when playing with their current toys – “How many blue Legos do you have in that building?” or “Let’s see how many Legos we used to make that tower.” We used counting and sorting when folding their laundry – socks were the big sorting project and we’d count as we went. There so many times during our day the counting and/or sorting could be encouraged.
Measuring and Comparison
Measuring and comparisons are both basic concepts that also fit into the daily routine. Simple items such as measuring cups, measuring spoons, scoops, funnels, rulers, measuring tape and the like are great tools. Also, different sized plastic containers work well. I liked to include the children in baking and food preparation activities which included a turn at measuring for everyone.
The concept of comparison also includes activities about size and shape. Understanding large/small, big/little, tall/short are just some of the ways we can look at size comparison. Activities that encourage children to discover a ratio of small items to large build on the size concept. Basic shape identification includes understanding the concepts of circle, square, triangle. Take a “shape walk,” you’ll be amazed at how many basic shapes the children will identify right in your neighborhood.
Songs or Fingerplays
Five Little Speckled Frogs
Five little speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs, yum, yum.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool.
Then there were four speckled frogs.
(continue with the next verse counting down each time until there are NO frogs left)