Mathematics is viewed educationally as second only to language as a fundamental part of life. It is also one of the most broad ranging of the Key Learning Areas as it covers Identifying Whole Numbers; Addition and Subtraction; Multiplication and Division; Fractions and Decimals; Patterns and Algebra; Data; Measurement; Area; Volume and Capacity; Mass; Time; Three- dimensional Space; Two- dimensional Space; Position; Questioning; Applying Strategies; Communicating; Reasoning and Reflecting.
As early as three years of age children should have a grounding in mathematics with basics such as counting to ten and understanding that we can count objects. They should be starting to recognise, describe and continue patterns of increasing complexity and understand the comparative language associated with length, area, volume, capacity and mass so that they can compare and arrange objects according to these attributes. In addition a three year old should be able to describe the position of an object using everyday language such as “the dog is on the mat” or “my cup is under your chair.”
At four years of age children should be able to count to one hundred, name the days of the week and the seasons and order events in a day such as breakfast, lunch and then dinner. It is also advantageous if they can tell the time on the hour. They should be able to draw, sort and describe 2D shapes, identifying circles, squares, triangles and rectangles while being confident both giving and following simple directions.
At five years of age children should be able to use objects and pictures to create a data display and interpret basic data using a pictograph with a one to one correlation. They should also be starting to manipulate, sort and describe 3D objects using everyday language.
By the time they start school they should be able to ask questions and explore mathematical problems using everyday language, materials and informal recordings. When entering school, children will benefit from being able to represent numbers to 20 with objects, pictures, numerals and words and read and use ordinal numbers to at least ‘tenth’ place.
Having mastered these basics, school aged children should also be moving towards the ability to manipulate objects to model addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. This does not necessarily involve written mathematic equations but rather the ability to divide objects into two equal parts and describe them as halves. They should also be able to recognise coins and notes and sort these according to their numerical denomination.
Most people do well at things they like. Have fun playing these math games with your child and they will love math for life.
Games and Activities
Pasta Necklaces is designed to improve your little one’s dexterity and fine motor skills of threading. If you create colour patterns this will also assist your little one’s early mathematical development.
Fractions for Four Year Olds is designed to improve your little one’s ability to recognise that a fraction is part of a whole.
Play by the Clock is designed to improve your little one’s ability to read the time either on a digital or analogue clock. It will also assist in mastering the concept of addition as time can be added together.
Number Poster is designed to improve your little one’s number recognition and counting skills.
Folding the Washing is designed to improve your little one’s ability to sort and classify object.
Ordering Toys is designed to improve your little one’s ability to order objects using their size, colour, shape or weight.
Water or Sand Play is designed to improve your little one’s ability to recognise half, quarter, full, empty, bottom, top and other measurement related terms.
Make an Anologue Clock is designed to improve your little one’s ability to tell the time.
Scales is designed to improve your little one’s ability to identify objects and order them by weight and size.
Tooth Fairy Box is designed to improve your little one’s artistic ability while providing a perfect opportunity to discuss what happens when a tooth falls out.
Pretty Patterns is designed to improve your little one’s ability to identify, continue and create patterns.
Memory is designed to improve your little one’s short term memory and concentration while teaching them the rules of turn taking in game play.
Pirate Play is designed to improve your little one’s imagination skills and story building abilities. It will also help them with map reading and following instructions via the treasure hunts. In addition there are elements of art and craft and visual arts via costume design and creation of props.
Shape Day is designed to improve your little one’s recall of a new shape including both its name or properties.
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