A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Early Childhood: Where Learning Begins - Mathematics - June 1999

Activities for Your Day
(part 4 of 4)


Games for More Than One Child

On Matt's birthday, Mommy wanted to invite some of his friends to play. "How many people should I invite?" Then Sara had an idea. "Since he's 3 years old, he should have 3 friends." "That's a good idea," said Mommy. "We can have 3 of everything: we'll have 3 guests, eat 3 crackers, and play 3 games."

* = simple # = moderate % = challenging

[Challenging] Set up a mystery game in which children can feel shapes and then figure out what shape it is. You can do this by putting objects into a paper bag. One at a time ask each child to reach in and feel the shape inside the box. Set up 5 shapes on the table that match the shapes in the box. Ask the child to match the shape on the table with the shape in the box.
[Challenging] Put on your own "Olympics." Ask your children to jump up and down or move their wheelchair to the sidewalk and back as many times as possible in a given amount of time. Measure how far your children can jump or how far they can throw a ball. No need to be competitive-- just have each child measure his or her own accomplishments.
# Children love to string pasta shells with large holes to make necklaces and other jewelry. This helps them relate geometric ideas to number and measurement, and also helps them practice sorting and making patterns.
[Challenging] Have a treasure hunt. Give each child a paper bag and ask them to find things of a certain shape that you have put around the room or outside for them.
# Collect a number of objects in various sizes: a plastic container, a soap dish, a sock, or even the tube from an empty roll of paper towels. Ask each child to take two items with something in common. As they match the items, ask them to tell you what they have in common. They may all be white, round, or plastic. Play until all the items are gone. This helps children classify things and find relationships.

 

Getting Ready for Bed

"Climb into bed, Vincent, and I will read you a story," said Papa. Vincent already had picked out his favorite book. As he fell asleep, Vincent could hear his Papa read, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are."

* = simple # = moderate % = challenging

* Give your children cups of different sizes and shapes as well as other toys to play with while you give them a bath. This is a fun way for your children to touch and play with different objects. Talk with your children about what they are doing when they are playing with the toys and water. Give them a variety of objects to take into the tub when you give them a bath and ask them to predict whether it will sink or float. Try soap, a ping pong ball, a toy action figure, or just about any waterproof object.
[Moderate] Play "beat the clock" with a timer or an hourglass while putting on pajamas; offer a special treat, like reading an extra book before bed, if they get dressed in 3 minutes.
[Moderate] If your children leave the water running while they brush their teeth, try having them plug the sink before they begin. Ask them to think about how full the sink will be when they are finished. Half full? Almost full?
* Read counting books out loud, or read books that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them. Reading is fun and a special way to introduce mathematics topics to your children. Some children love to count along with the pages and others love to identify the number.
% Look for patterns in their pajamas or let them pick their favorite color. The important thing is to get them thinking about color, shape, size, and relationship.

* = simple # = moderate % = challenging

[Activities for Your Day (part 3 of 4)] Appendix [Table of Contents] [Appendix]