Mathematics should be part of every preschool age child's daily experience. “Research on children’s learning in the first six years of life demonstrates the importance of early experiences in mathematics,” says the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), a professional organization that encourages preschool educators to “actively introduce mathematical concepts, methods, and language through a variety of appropriate experiences and research-based teaching strategies.” You are as much your child’s educator as the expert staff at Kids Konnect, so try these art activities to help your child learn counting!
Combining art, math and books, this NCTM-based activity lets you help your preschool age child connect words to pictorial number representations without knowing numerals. Pick a counting book from NCTM’s bibliography, like Ten Sly Piranhas (counting down from 10), or from your collection. Provide your child with washable markers and index cards. For books counting down, your child colors, say, 10 train cars (index cards)—piranha fish in our example, other animals for other books—and lines them up. Each time the number changes as you read, your child removes a card. For books counting up, the process reverses.
This art activity appears frequently on craft sites, perhaps because it so directly relates numeral (the shape of the number), numeracy and art. You may need to help your preschool age child cut out a very large cardstock or foam board numeral (let’s say the digit 5). Your child uses buttons, sequins and other 3D found objects to glue on in clusters of five on the giant digit. Between clusters, help your child practice forming the digit using markers or crayons. You can even introduce multiples: “One five, two fives, three fives, four fives,” and then build to “One five is five; two groups of five makes ten; three groups make fifteen.”
At Kids Konnect, we love recycling. You and your preschool age child can cut out numbers 0 to 10 (or higher) from old magazines (numerals and number words in ads and headlines). Your child glues the numbers, in all their different fonts and colors, onto construction paper in any manner. After drying, have your child point from Zero to One to Two and on to the highest number.
What artistic or amazing ways have you invented to help your preschool age child learn to count? We’d love to know! Leave us a comment below.