Helping your child build skills in understanding simple graphs and charts will help them gain a solid foundation and understanding for early math skills. Below are suggested activities to do with your child:
Practice Comparing Amounts
Making comparisons is a great start to thinking mathematically. If you give your child two animal crackers and yourself four, no doubt your child can tell who has more and who has less! Throughout the day, ask him to compare the number of blocks in two towers, books in piles, stickers on a chart, or food on plates. Build his brainpower by using the words "more," "less", and "the same".
Get more resources from the PBS website
Mix up the dominoes and have your child pick one and then ask her/him, “Which side has more dots?” or “Which side has fewer dots?”. Point out when the dots have the same number on each side and use the vocabulary “equal”. Building math vocabulary at this age is important as it begins to lay the foundation for what they will be learning in the future. Use additional math vocabulary, such as most, fewest, and least.
Write down your grocery list and add the amount next to each item. For example:
- Eggs (1 carton)
- Milk (2 gallons)
- Bread (2 loaves)
- Yogurt (4 containers)
The Erikson Institute's Early Math Collaborative recommends checking your local library for books that will help your child learn about mathematics.
To learn about simple graphs and charts, check out the following books:
- Anno’s Flea Market by Mitsumasa Anno
- Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig
- Whose Shoes? by Stephen R. Swinburne
To learn about animals and counting, check out the following books:
- Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel
- How Many Snails?: A Counting Book by Paul Giganti Jr.
- Birds by Kevin Henkes