Even before they start school, most children develop an understanding of mathematical concepts through everyday interactions. As my boys will be starting play school soon, I used Duplo to help them get a head start!
↑ UNDERSTANDING SIZE, SHAPE AND PATTERNS
Pattern is the underlying theme of all mathematics and science. It is our ability to recognize patterns that helps us understand logical and predictable ways in which things work. Experiences with observing and making sense of patterns are what helps young children become logical thinkers who can reason and think critically. Using Duplo, that vary in shape and size, you can create a pattern (3 or 4 Duplo) and ask your child to repeat or complete the pattern.
↑ MEASURING WITH LEGO is a fun activity that all ages can partake in. Findings can be tabulated and later discussion can take place as to with objects were the biggest and smallest. Weighing Lego is a great game and probably the most fun for kids as they try to balance the two sides. It is a great way to introduce measurement to young children.
↓ BIGGER THAN, SMALLER THAN AND EQUAL TO
These concepts are key in beginning to understand addition and subtraction. Build DUPLO towers and use these fun printables to help your child decide which is bigger, smaller or equal.
↓ RECOGNIZING NUMERALS
One of the first steps in numerical awareness is learning what the 10 numerals (0 through 9) look like. This requires strong visual discrimination as some of the numbers look similar (eg. 6 and 9). Recognizing and distinguishing between numbers means they can start to come to terms with how much they represent. You can use a permanent marker and a few Duplo blocks to make your own counters.
↑ IDENTIFYING MORE AND LESS OF A QUANTITY
For children to be able to count rationally, they need to demonstrate one- to-one correspondence. This is demonstrated when a child actually relates the counting to specific individual items. Touching each item only one time as the child recites the counting sequence illustrates this concept. Understanding the concept of more and less is a prerequisite for addition and subtraction. Once your child can count and understands the one-to-one correspondence, place 2 Duplo blocks in a bag and him to add one more and then tell you how many he has. This is fun game that can be combined with a sticker reward chart as incentive for eager participation.