The Basics: Count, Group, & Compare
The fourth in a series of articles on The Basics: five FUN, SIMPLE and POWERFUL ways to give your child a great start. This week’s blog is written by Melissa Sullivan, marketing communications consultant and mom of three, on behalf of The Palmetto Basics
Your Child was Born a Mathematician!
Really. And as you count, group and compare with your child, you are helping with brain development. Since 80% of brain growth happens before the age of 3, it is important to talk about numbers, shapes, patterns and comparisons as you go about your daily routine. Watch your child learn to love math.
Count & Group:
– Count and wiggle each of their toes and fingers while getting dressed or at bath time.
-Count and point to objects as you play. For example, help your baby stack blocks or cups and talk with them: “You have three blocks: one, two, three.” When playing, describe what they’re doing using size and position words like big, small, long, short, top, bottom, on, off, in, out, up, down, under, top, open, shut.
– Clap a rhythm. Did you know that clapping is a natural way to introduce patterns to your child? Move to some music and clap out the beat to your favorite song.
Sizes & Shapes: Talk to your child about things that are different sizes. As you fold laundry, count socks, matching them together. Compare socks of different sizes. For example, put your child’s socks next to larger ones and say, “Who wears the little socks? John! Who wears the big socks? Mommy (or Daddy)”
Compare colors: Laundry doesn’t have to be boring… You can also compare colors and sizes of t-shirts, towels, socks or other items as you fold them. “Look at this blue shirt. See how it is larger than the yellow one?”
Point out shapes and patterns during your normal daily routine. Look for circles, squares, triangles, rectangles in objects around your house or when in the car. Talk about different sizes of the shapes that you find.
Compare using the senses: Help your baby explore things that are the same and different. Let them touch different types of fabric, like smooth, soft, fluffy, rough, and scratchy. Talk about the similarities and differences.
Here are some additional simple ways to do this Basic:
What’s Inside? Wrap an object in paper. See if your baby can remove the paper to see what’s inside. Talk about what they found and the crinkle sound the paper makes.
Scoop & Dump Give your toddler a cup or container to play with in the bathtub. Let them scoop water, then dump it out. Use words like “in”, “out”, “full”, “empty”
Add & Subtract With older toddlers, make a game of adding and subtracting from a small set of objects. Line up 3 crackers. Ask “How many crackers are there? What if I eat one?”
Puzzle Time Expose your child to shape sorters and simple puzzles. Let them take the lead and problem solve. Provide help when needed, like labeling shapes or encouraging them to turn pieces.
Each month, The Basics shares information about a local agency making a difference in the lives of Upstate children.
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg
Located at 130 Magnolia Street in downtown Spartanburg, The Children’s Museum is full of toys and activities to help your child count, group and compare. Designed for children 5 and under, the museum’s exhibits were built on a smaller scale to meet the physical needs of early learners. Be sure to visit the Palmetto Basics Toddler Zone, an area with hands-on activities for children 18 months and younger! Plan your visit today! (link: https://www.tcmupstate.org/spartanburg-visit) Please call 864-553-7952 for hours of operation.
About The Basics
The Palmetto Basics was born out of a desire to come alongside families and offer practical, everyday ways to foster school readiness. The Palmetto Basics is a local affiliate of The Basics National Network. Learn more at: https://palmetto.thebasics.org/en/about/)