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Numbers and Operations is the understanding of numbers, relationships among numbers, and different ways of representing numbers. Regular exposure to these concepts will help build a solid numeracy foundation and prepare children for more complex math concepts in the future.

Here are a few simple and fun ideas on integrating math into our daily lives:

  • Laundry 
    • Sort the laundry before you fold it. Your child can sort by clothing type or color.
    • Count all of the socks and then sort them by color. Count how many different color groups there are. Have your child write down the number of socks in each color group and see which color group has the most socks. Which color group has the least amount of socks?
  • Cooking together
    • Read the recipe together and talk about the numbers you see in the recipe.
    • Have your child help with measuring the ingredients. Talk about the different sizes of measuring cups/spoons, drawing their attention to the numbers.
    • Let your child help set the timer and talk about the number of minutes the meal will take to be ready.
    • Have your child set the table and think about how many plates, spoons, forks, etc. you will need.
  • Riding in the car
    • Counting in the car together. You can practice counting by ones, fives, and tens.
    • Noticing numbers while driving. For example, on street signs, car license plates, and addresses on buildings. 
    • Create simple story problems with numbers. “If you have one apple and I have one apple, how many apples do we have all together?” Give your child an opportunity to create his/her own story problem for you to solve.


Play Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun physical activity that helps reinforce number recognition for young children. Is the weather not cooperating for a sidewalk chalk version? You can make an indoor hopscotch board using flattened cardboard boxes, an old shower curtain, or a disposable tablecloth! Simply use a permanent marker to make the squares and have your child write the numbers. Your child can then use a small bean bag or stuffed toy to throw onto the board and hop his way through counting.

Count Backward from 10

Just as with counting up to 10, number songs are a great way to help kids catch on to counting backward. You can also watch the numbers counting down on a microwave or digital timer to explore this concept, or even pretend to set off rockets with a countdown from 10!

Locate Your Home

Numbers aren't just for counting — they are also for labeling. Teach your child the street number on your home. Explain how buildings are numbered on every street and take a walk around your neighborhood, pointing out the numbers on homes, businesses, and signs.

Dot-to-Dot Activities

Buy an inexpensive dot-to-dot activity book or create your own dot-to-dot picture. Your child will learn number order as they connect each dot with a continuous line. 

13, 14, 15, 16....

Counting in the teens gets tricky as children try to memorize the order. Create a number line so your child can see the numbers written in order from 1-20. You can sing counting songs or point to each number on the line as you say the numbers.

Get more resources from the PBS website

Say a Number

Say a number between 1-20 and ask your child to tell you one more or one less than the original number. This will help with counting and simple problems of adding and subtracting. 

Download Department of Education Guide to Numbers and Counting

Solve Every Day Math Problems

You need two mittens and your brother needs two mittens. How many mittens do we need to buy?

Count Anything and Everything

Have your child count blocks, Legos, dolls, or even towels as they come out of the dryer.