Monday, May 10, 2010

Tuesday's Toolbox~Small Objects of ANY Kind and Math

I know this is going to sound silly, but it can take all the bite out of the big bad word, HOMESCHOOLING when teaching the concept of numbers and math.  Learning to count OBJECTS will teach young children that those numbers actually mean a concrete set of THINGS!! I used to have my kids count all kinds of things.  In a preschool or kindergarten classroom there all many kinds of manipulatives in bright colors, but at home we can pull out many things from our child's world to show him that things can represent a value of amounts. 

Objects to be counted can include anything small enough or BIG enough to become counted. Don't limit yourself to my list or anyone elses, but let your child and yourself find and count everything you can! It needs to be a game and made FUN!

Here's some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Count the number of windows in a room or in the whole house.
  • Count the number of chairs at the table or in a room or othter furnature objects.
  • Count the silverware and sort them by kind.  Spoons, forks and butter knives all seperated. 
  • Count the Leggos in the collection of your child.  Sort by individual color.  For a young child, teach the color, say-red, and sort all reds one day counting with him.  Do it again another day and so on.  Add additonal colors as in the Leggo box.
  • Count the eggs in the egg carton and talk about the 3 parts of the egg: shell, white and yolk.
  • Count cereal for  a snack.  Let him string it on yard and wear it for fun!
  • Count other food items such as raisens and other dried fruit.  How many sections in a fresh tangerine or orange?  Yum!
  • Count miniature marshmellow~you can string these too, but will need a needle. Monitor this activity if you use the sharpe!
  • Count trees in the backyard or front.
  • Count matchbox cars or other small toys.  Sort by color or kind-trucks and cars, vans, ect...
  • Count bread for sandwhiches.  Count a cut sandwhich by 1/4s or 1/2s~which ever way you cut it!
  • Count seeds from fruit or veggies.
  • Count a certain car color when traveling. This is a fun game.  We used to count every RED pass the time!
Count anything and everything you can count with your child. Showing him the world of numbers equals THINGS is huge in teaching early concepts of math. Once he has mastered this basic concept, you can use these SAME objects to teach addition, subtration and fractions.  This is the basis for all of math and is so easy and fun. 

Look around~today's Tuesday Toolbox is all around us with a number value when counted with our littles and is so essential for their futures! Count count count EVERYTHING that can be counted and it doesn't have to cost a fortune or any extra gathering, we already own it all and it's all around us!


1 comment:

midwest mama said...

You'll be amazed at how quickly they'll master division when they want to figure out how many muffins each kid will get.