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Math, 4+

(15 Posts)
DotingDaddyPig Tue 07-Feb-17 09:57:50

I am a parent. My DD nears age 4 this spring. I am looking for your guidance on effective methods to introduce maths to my child - via any play, books, or activity that you have found to be effective.
Thanks a ton!

Caroian Tue 07-Feb-17 10:05:54

Count things - cars, people, raisins, crayons - anything! Do it as part of everyday tasks e.g ask your child to count five apples in to the basket whilst shopping, then ask how many there will be if you add one more. Weigh things - bake cakes and look at the numbers in the scales. Measure things - not necessarily with a ruler but use hands or footsteps. How many footsteps down the garden path? Look for bigger and smaller. Play board games - snakes and ladders is a good one for numbers, but there are lots to choose from.

Autumnsky Tue 07-Feb-17 10:12:51

I think this stage is to introduce numbers. Does she already know all the numbers within 10, 10-20? I used to ask DC to count the grapes, sweets and biscuits when they had their snacks. I had a bus game, which is good as well, you probably can make one youself, so you throw 2 dice, if you have a 3 and +, the bus then have 3 passengers on, if you have a 2 and -, then you have 2 passengers off.Snake and Ladder is good if she already know numbers.

GieryFas Tue 07-Feb-17 10:15:53

If you have an iPad, the Maths 3-5 and Maths 4-6 apps are the best I've found for working on concepts in a fun way that doesn't require the child to be able to read. But in general, cooking / weighing / measuring and counting things like steps, cars etc is the way forward at this age.

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Feb-17 10:16:57

Fridge magnet numbers...familialise with shape/form of numbers.
Lego... visualise numbers. useful for many things math related.
Cutting pizza/cake...getting concept of half/quarter/whole. value.
Any object...concept of shapes, 2d and 3d.
Teaching clock.

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Feb-17 10:19:07

MrsMarigold Tue 07-Feb-17 10:19:36

Just incorporate it into everyday life, i.e. carrot for supper, how many are there, eat 10, how many do you have left. Here is some money (less than a pound, come to the shop and chose something you like but remember you only have a pound, what can you afford? How many steps to the car? Hide and seek is good for counting.

DotingDaddyPig Tue 07-Feb-17 19:45:05

Thanks Caroian, Autumnsky, Gieryfas, Irvineoneohone, MrsMarigold!
Measuring distances with hands or footsteps is a brilliant suggestion. My child counts asc/desc, understands bigger/smaller, & gets simple add/subtract.
Numbers by cooking, esp from recipes, cutting pizza slices are fabulous to introduce fractions. I'm keenly looking at the Math 3-5 and Math 4-6 apps. Shopping with under £1 is a great idea, thanks again. Almost wants me to talk to her about the meaning of sets and permutations! Loved the NRICH Cambridge Univ articles & resources.
As she grows up, I'd love my child to understand the meaning of math and sheer logic of numbers, to go beyond books.
A follow-up question - do schools have schemes/methods for math as guidance, (as there are for reading / language for example), or free web resources similar to NRICH that I could refer?

Ferguson Tue 07-Feb-17 20:05:43

You have had good advice already, but as a retired TA I'll add my standard information:

Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.

ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other
then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :

DotingDaddyPig Wed 08-Feb-17 07:41:14

Thank you Ferguson, Real Objects & Relationships.
Excellent note to help! My child has an iKea cash machine calculator that keeps her very curious, I'll look into a solar cell renewable. Would the use of a calculator at this age enhance her capability?

GieryFas, the Maths 3-5 and Maths 4-6 started well and well structured - but is the paid access worth the premium content in your view? As I also have Collins workbooks and a Twinkl login with similar content.

irvineoneohone Wed 08-Feb-17 07:58:43

Calculator was one of my ds' favorite toy at the age. He was forever fascinated by it. We didn't use it as active teaching tool or anything, but definitely fed him with curiosity about numbers.

GieryFas Wed 08-Feb-17 08:25:21

Doting I thought it was worth paying, though it was about 6 years ago so the price may now be quite a lot higher than I paid. But both kids have enjoyed them, and stayed interested (they like getting the certificates) and that's not been the case for any other maths apps. Workbooks didn't work for them at that age, as they didn't have the pencil holding / wielding skills until most of the way through Reception to be able to do them without getting frustrated.

MollyHuaCha Wed 08-Feb-17 08:42:19

Board games involving moving counters around a board.
Drawing patterns.
Making symmetrical pictures with paint or stickers or magnetic shape board.
Pairing socks and noting the number of pairs is half the number of socks.
Using fruit to explore fractions - if you have a half and two quarters, you have the whole fruit.

DotingDaddyPig Thu 09-Feb-17 15:22:12

Thanks Molly, Innovative ideas with the socks, helps me sort the wardrobe quicker too! I tried to explain mirror images to my child, to introduce symmetry. We don't have a shape board, I'll look up one. Am trying Lego for mirror images.

GieryFas, We picked up Maths 3-5 premium, it's quite good, thanks again.

A follow up question - Would anyone please know a laundry-list of Math concepts (numbers, symmetry, etc.) that 4yr olds must typically learn?

cantkeepawayforever Thu 09-Feb-17 15:51:39

Not answering you most recent question, but board games of all kinds are great for introducing children to early Maths concepts, and alsop logic and basic strategy.

Orchard Toys games are good In general, though, I would say that their age ranges are too high - Pop to the Shops would be excellent for a Maths-interested 4 year old who knows a little about money, but is labelled 5-9. Bus Stop is labelled as 4-8 but again is great from the earliest point hat a child can count and follow games rules. I'd say 5 would be a maximum age for that one for many children, for example.

Mazes, dot to dot with large numbers of dots?

As for what a 4 year old might typically learn, the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum states:

"Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-
digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday
objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them."

However, I would say that there is a huge range at this sort of age, from those capable of much more than this. to those with very basic understanding.

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