Young children begin to naturally develop math skills at a young age by doing simple things like stacking blocks, sharing cookies fairly with a playmate or playing games like hop scotch. And as younger children won’t necessarily be doing addition and subtraction, it’s important to surround their learning environment with objects, toys and activities involving math so it can help with their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Below are a few creative and fun ideas you can include in the classroom environment to help strengthen your young students math skills.
- Incorporate music and songs into your math routine. Songs with mathematical lyrics help children learn while they sing and dance to the beat, like these. They will help the children with patterns and familiarize them with counting.
- Create a math center. This can be a cubbyhole-shelving unit filled with math books and props, such as blocks, puzzles, games, magnetic numbers and buttons.
- Encourage your young students to play mathematically on their own. Set up a “store” in your classroom and give them fake money to purchase items; or have measuring tape available so they can compare their height with one another or measure a growing plant and different objects in the classroom.
- Let them create their own math art. Calendars, counting games, clocks, beaded necklaces and more will help support the children’s imaginations, explore materials and think mathematically. And in the end, they will have artwork they can be proud of!