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# The Importance of Early Childhood Math Education

September 8th, 2015 | 1 min. read

Toddler counting games are an exciting way to develop early childhood mathematics. Offering fun and educational interactions between parents, teachers and kids, counting activities are a simple way to share math as part of the importance of early childhood education.

A range of methods should be used to actively introduce math to toddlers and young children, according to an article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Noting the focus on counting games and other strategies to teach math, early childhood educator Clare Beswick wrote 30 Fun Ways to Learn About Counting.

Below is one of many activities from her book. Want more? Click here to read an excerpt and purchase the book!

Gobble, Gobble, Munch, Crunch

Focus: A hungry caterpillar dice game

What you need:

• At least 30 small circles of green paper or cardstock, about 1 ½ inches across ( adjust according to the size of your group)
• Black marker
• Crayons, chalk, glue, and glue sticks
• Die with dots on each side
• Sheet of paper for each child
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

What you do:

1. Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar together, making plenty of time for counting and talking about how much food the caterpillar needs to grow. Look at the shape of the caterpillar and talk about how it is growing.
2. Help each child draw a single long, wavy, line horizontally across his paper from left to right.
3. Take turns rolling the die. When a child rolls a three, he can paste three circles on is line as part of his own caterpillar.
4. When he rolls a one, two, four, or five, he can add that many times of food to his picture with crayons and say “four strawberries,” and so on. If he rolls a six, he can add six legs to his growing caterpillar.
5. When a child’s caterpillar stretches all the way across the page, that child can use crayons to draw its face.

Find many more great activities in 30 Fun Ways to Learn About Counting!

Author(s)Clare Beswick

A graduate of High Point University, Jenna Roby served as marketing specialist for Gryphon House from 2013-2015.

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