Math Games for Toddlers: Teach Your Child Math

It's never too early for kids to start working on basic math skills. If you want to help your toddler get a headstart in math, you can introduce him to general concepts, like counting and identifying shapes. Keep reading to learn about simple math games and activities that your toddler might find engaging.

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How to Teach Your Toddler Math

Toddlers may be too young for direct instruction, but they love playing games. You can incorporate early math concepts into games and activities to help your toddler develop a foundation for later math instruction. Activities that include movement or object creation may be most likely to keep your child engaged.

Although your toddler may not yet be able to count, listening to you count can help familiarize him with number words. Other important concepts you can introduce include locating patterns and identifying shapes.

What Math Games Can I Play with My Toddler?

One of the most important math skills toddlers can learn is how to count. This skill can be practiced just about anywhere. Make a game of counting things you see when you're out and about. For example, if you're at the playground, you could count the number of children you see or the number of rungs on a slide ladder.

Toddlers also can learn to recognize patterns. You can encourage your child to make patterns using his or her toys. For example, you could use colored blocks to make a simple pattern and help your child notice this pattern. Then, have him continue the pattern on his own.

You also can help your child create shapes using cookie dough. Identify the shape for your child, and have him create it based on its characteristics. As an added bonus, after baking the cookies, you and your child will have a tasty treat to enjoy.

A more advanced concept that you can help your child understand is capacity. During her bathtime, allow your child to fill various sizes of containers with water. She'll naturally figure out that larger containers can hold more.

You also can help your child begin to develop the critical thinking skills needed to solve more advanced math problems by having him solve simple puzzles. For instance, you might show your child three objects on a tabletop, and then have him cover his eyes while you hide one of the objects. When he opens his eyes, ask your child which object has been hidden.

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