Can toddlers do math? Teaching math to toddlers may seem pointless to some parents and teachers who think math concepts might be too difficult for toddlers to understand. However, children from birth to age three are in the most fertile period of their entire lives for cognitive development. Math for toddlers enhances not only their math understanding, but helps them to development important social-emotional and problem solving skills as well.
Many math activities for toddlers challenge children to find solutions to simple problems. For example, measuring is an easy early math skill that engages the cognitive and problem-solving ability of toddlers. When a child is allowed to measure, they’re given the freedom to explore their curiosity about an object or activity and they begin to put their problem-solving skills to use while exercising their developing cognitive abilities, all on their own. Measuring activities are also a method to introduce problem-solving concepts in a way that is not overwhelming to young children. A simple math skill, it can be shared multiple ways from using rulers to measure different length strings, to using measuring cups in a fun cooking activity.
Pam Schiller’s The Complete Resource Book for Toddlers and Twos is full of math activities for toddlers including fun ways you can help your child learn to measure! Here is one of math activities for toddlers that will have your little learners problem solving and exploring their world through measurements in no time.
- Ask everyone to stand up. As the children to point out the tallest person in the room.
- Tell the children that today they will be learning how the word tall is used to describe things.
Language Enrichment Choices
- Show the items that are tall, such as an empty wrapping paper tube, a yardstick, and a measuring tape. Discuss the height of each item.
Tall and Short
- Stand up and select a child to stand beside you. Ask the children which of you is tall and which of you is short. Ask the children questions to determine what they know about being tall and short.
- Tell them that today they will be learning more about tall and short.
- Read your favorite book about opposites to the children or select a book from the Story Circle Suggestions below to check out of the library and read.
Cognitive Development Choices
- Give the children pairs of tall and short items, such as measuring sticks, blocks, and unbreakable drinking glasses, and so on, and encourage them to sort them by size.