Math and science learning happens naturally. We just need to take a minute to see it!
When we’re moving from one activity to the next, it’s very easy to get pulled into busy mode. You’re busy making snacks, changing diapers and coming up with answers for the million questions your little learner has. All while making sure they are safe! In that busy bustle, it’s easy to miss the little learning moments. But they’re there! And they might just lead your child to a math or science careers.
These learning opportunities don’t need any fancy tools. They can happen any time. Because they are so simple, we can sometimes forget to do them. But these opportunities are everywhere!
Math Is More Than Numbers!
Teaching our little ones about numbers is great! But there are many other math and science concepts that children can also learn to get ready for kindergarten. Helping children learn and identify things that are the tallest, shortest, smallest, biggest, most, least, closest, farthest, etc., gets them excited about the world. It also teaches them about making comparisons — an early science skill!
Taking Time to Talk Math & Science
Every day is a chance to add math and science words into your daily activities. Check out these ideas for boosting learning and focus during any activity!
- At lunch or snack time, ask your child to identify the biggest (or smallest) piece of fruit on their plate. Have them compare the portions of the food that they have been given. Ask: “Do you have more vegetables or more bread?” Half way through the meal, stop and talk about who has the least on their plate. Who has the most?
- When you are outside or on a walk, ask your child to find the tallest tree or the highest roof.
- When walking back home, ask your child, “who is closest to the door?”
- If your child is an infant or a toddler, talk to them while they eat. Tell them when you are giving them a smaller bite of food, or point out the tallest bush on the playground.
Little Moments That Lead to Big Math & Science Skills — All In Order!
Talking about the order of things builds skills too. You can do it during daily tasks like putting away toys, meals and diapering. Children also learn about order when you discuss the steps in a task. These skills will help them in their life today and well into the future. (Just think about — one day, they may pick up all their own toys. Or put the dishes away. In order.)
When talking about sorting, arranging and putting things in order:
- At clean up time, set blocks or other toys from biggest to smallest. “The first thing we do is pick up all of the red blocks. The second thing we do is put them in the bin. And the third thing we do is turn off the light.”
- When changing the diaper of your infant or toddler, tell them what you are doing while you are doing it using “first,” “second” and “third” language. “First, I am going to take off your dirty diaper. The second thing I will do is throw it away.”
- Check in on their sense of order. Suggest doing something out of order and see if your child can notice it. For example: tell them you are going to tie your shoes and then put them on. Children will love correcting you, and it reinforces what they know about why things have to be in the right order.
Little (Math and Science) Moments Lead to Big Brain Boosts
You can sneak in these math and science ideas any time. To do them, you don’t need any materials other than the loving home you’ve built for your child. Just think of all the extra learning you will do with these tips!
Build Your Child’s Brighter Future!
Want to dive deeper into the growth of your little one? Check out our Math Play and Learning guidance for:
- Babies — Hand clapping is more than just fun for you and your baby. It’s a great way to help her inner mathematical genius shine!
- One-year-olds — As he continues to make sense of his world, he’s learning the basics of numbers, geometry and measurement.
- Two-year-olds — From recognizing numbers to counting to grasping routines, her brain is expanding to allow for more knowledge…and more fun!
- Three-year-olds — When he says, “red, then orange, then yellow,” he’s telling you he put things in sequence and order.
- Pre-K learners — “2+2” may seem simple to you, but it’s actually a new idea for your child. You can help him really see how it works with everyday objects (cookies are always popular).