Fostering Fun Mathematical Thinking

Please share some ways that we can use mathematical thinking throughout the day with our children. What do you do everyday that is mathematical and how can that be adapted to your child to help him/her learn?


For preschoolers, how about figuring out how many forks, spoons, knives and napkins are needed to set the table for dinner, organizing canned goods in the closet (putting like things together), noticing shapes and patterns on a walk, talking about what you see, for example: "Which is taller, shorter, longer...? Which is first, second, third, last?" Encourage logical thinking skills through conversations, such as: "How did you decide to put these objects together?"

For six to eight year olds, how about playing board games together, for example, Monopoly or card games. You can also plan aloud with your child before you go on errands. You can ask: "What do we need to bring? Where should we go first, next, last?" Talk about time: "It is half an hour (or 30 minutes) until dinner." Have a clock at home with numbers and hands, not just digital. Then, play games, close your eyes and see if you can predict when 10, or 30, or 60 seconds pass. Read the weather page together or watch the Weather Channel. Talk about the predictions and how much the temperature will change. Give your child a personal calendar and mark down recent events and cross off the days.

-- Toni Bickart, Teaching Strategies

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