Maths for a 4 year old interested child.

(19 Posts)
dingalong Wed 30-Apr-14 19:41:17

Please don't flame if this isn't the appropriate place but Dd 4 has asked for a 'book of sums' for her birthday in November. I laughed and said I'd get her one before then if she wanted

She's 4 but her comprehension is quite advanced I think. She had to have salt assessments and on the scales they used she scored 17/18 in the assessed areas (average is 10 and normal range is 8-12) - not boasting but highlighting she might be able to handle something a little more advanced

I was hoping to get something which discusses concepts in an age appropriate way rather than just sums iykwim. I love maths and would love to pass it on in a fun way (eg using multiplication to prove that vampires don't exist - if everyone they eat turns into one - pre twilight eating patterns raised smile ).

We haven't gotten into multiplication etc, she just enjoys sequences etc. She loves nature and animals (favourite reading materials are animal and natural world encyclopaedia's a so something with that slant if available would be great.

She's no interest in learning to read yet so I'm not constrained by something she has to read herself.

dalziel1 Thu 01-May-14 12:15:28

It gets wearing that parents feel afraid to post with a genuine request for advice lest someone challenges them that they are either deluded to think their child is especially able or simply that the parent's method of parenting is somehow questionable.

To the OP:
Congratulations on having a bright daughter. Sadly you will likely find in the coming years that it has its own challenges as well the rewards. However, for now, I would suggest that you keep maths fun as you suggest. Teaching her to count her toys, then read the numbers on the clock, then add pairs of numbers to ten or less. Evenutally it would be good if she were able to say which hour of the day it is etc

I found that these were all good ways to go for my children who loved the feeling of achievement when they were able to do something that previously only the adults could do.

Instead of books, i used which I seem to remember would read the questions out before my sons were able to read them themselves.

Good luck.

MisguidedAngel Thu 01-May-14 12:32:49

Many years ago when my two were small their father was a maths teacher. He was especially interested in teaching (secondary school) pupils with some degree of learning difficulty and he tried out various exercises and equipment with our children.

Cuisinere rods was one - rods which measure 1,2,5,10 .... cm, a different colour for each size so you can line various sizes up against a 100cm one. It's just playing, but they begin to get a sense of the underlying maths. Another one, can't remember the name, was a set of shapes - circle, triangle, square etc. each one in three different colours and three different sizes. With this you can play lots of sorting games - group by colour, by size, by shape - or like dominoes, line them up where the next one has to share one characteristic.

He wasn't formally teaching them at all, just playing with them and talking about what they were doing.

I'm sure there are lots of toys available to use in similar ways. I agree it should always be fun and never forget how many opportunities there are in everyday life, as dalziel1 says - counting out cutlery to lay the table, cooking, measuring. If you love maths, I'm sure you can think of lots more.

I spent far more time with them than he did, doing lots of stuff I'm interested in (I'm crap at anything to do with numbers). They both did maths at university, got good degrees and have high-flying maths related careers.

dingalong Thu 01-May-14 12:40:06

Thanks for the advice I'll have a look at that website, I just remember that there was so much maths in nature so wanted to follow that area. She enjoys counting already and looking at counting legs on sea creatures / insects but likes concepts eg infinity. I just wanted to use age appropriate language & make sure I am correct because once it's in her brain it isn't coming out & it's very hard to correct.

But if my original post left you feeling worn it's due to other posters feeling a need to judge others and my desire to rye to negate that. Some children are gifted and some are bright. Some posters post as they want to pass the joy of learning to their dc's and others feel the competitive need to mock and knock.

I was the eldest of 5 so don't remember my dm having the time to sit down with me but I was happy to do it myself. I just loved understanding things and wanted to give dd a foundation in that.

dingalong Thu 01-May-14 12:45:49

Thanks misguidedangel - great name, I must have a think. Dd asks things like what is the biggest number and I said infinity, I also told her zero was a number so she started counting with zero so took a little while to correct that. She takes everything in and asks lots of questions about numbers so wanted to have the concepts straight. For some reason she likes to tie magic and maths together so trying to keep the two properly separated can be fun. I guess telling her maths was magic (fun) was my original downfall smile

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 01-May-14 13:05:23

the usborne see inside maths book is really very interesting, little lift flaps and lots of info but presented in a very fun way. my girls love it (they were 4 and 5 when we got it) so might be a good one to look at.

otherwise some of the workbooks you can buy are quite good and some are very colourful and fun with things to count, add together, match up and so on.

noblegiraffe Thu 01-May-14 13:25:19

Maths teacher here so can't resist correcting. Infinity isn't the biggest number, infinity isn't a number and there is no biggest number. You could lead your dd to this conclusion herself by questioning 'what's the biggest number you can think of' then giving one more than that number and saying it's bigger. So whatever big number you think is the biggest, you can always find a bigger one.

My 4 year old likes counting down into negative numbers, so that's another way to go. Then you could start with one more/less etc. Sharing sweets so it's fair. Just dropping it into conversation is good.

dingalong Thu 01-May-14 13:35:45

Noblegiraffe - thanks for the correction, I've forgotten so much , I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing. She loved doing things like dividing her huge collection of schleich animals into subsets, cats or African / Asian / artic etc. when she was younger. She usually likes to hit me with questions at busy junctions smile and unless she likes the answer keep asking the question. Will look out for the Usborne book as she has the human body and brain ones. Thanks

dingalong Thu 01-May-14 13:36:41

Noblegiraffe - thanks for the correction, I've forgotten so much , I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing. She loved doing things like dividing her huge collection of schleich animals into subsets, cats or African / Asian / artic etc. when she was younger. She usually likes to hit me with questions at busy junctions smile and unless she likes the answer keep asking the question. Will look out for the Usborne book as she has the human body and brain ones. Thanks

Padeen Thu 01-May-14 13:40:36
dingalong Thu 01-May-14 13:48:57

Thanks for the ideas and websites. Just ordered the Usborne maths book on amazon along with another tractor book for an obsessive 2 year old !

Aren't little brains so much fun !

ShoeWhore Thu 01-May-14 13:51:01

Ds has a quite a good feel for maths I think - he loves patterns and how things work. Your dd might like things like geomags - you can make 2d and 3d shapes with them.

Our infant school uses Numicon - I think you could do something similar at home with Lego or make your own cardboard shapes?

I would look for games and toys that use number/logic and approach it that way I think. Lots of children's games are based on counting. Downfall is also great fun to play and more about strategy. We also love Shut the Box.

LittleMissGreen Thu 01-May-14 14:23:47

It might be a bit old for her at the moment but books by this author seem quite a fun way to look at maths.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 01-May-14 14:25:34

Hello OP

I would trail the stationers for those little books that have simple sums and colourful responses. They start at age 3- 5 and are fun for kids, mine used to love doing these.
I can recommend "letts" The make it easy range and also stickers/stars for her best work, or for attempting etc.

Ohnonotagen Thu 01-May-14 15:40:00

Aldi have some good basic baths books every now and again. they are flip chart style and have pictures so they can count to add then on the other side it just has the numbers

yegodsandlittlefishes Thu 01-May-14 15:44:32

Have you tried teachimg her to play chess? DH learned as a small child and was beating adult chess players by the time he was at school. It can be a great little community for mathematically gifted children.

dingalong Thu 01-May-14 23:02:17

Thanks everyone for the responses. I've ordered a few books based on your recommendations

iseenodust Fri 02-May-14 15:46:46

DS had a Sudoku animal board game that started with farm animals and progressed to jungle animals which he loved. Like this but better

You can also get sticker books of Sudoku with Scooby Doo/ Mickey Mouse etc.

GreenEyedGoblin Wed 07-May-14 21:41:35

I second the chess. Ds1 and ds2 (6 & 4) are both mathematically talented. They've been playing draughts for ages, which was kind of a good starting point. Recently dh has been teaching them chess and it's a huge hit, they've both taken to it really quickly!

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