Before they start school, most children develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through everyday interactions. Learn what informal activities give children a head start when they start learning math in school.
Children are using early math skills throughout their daily routines and activities. This is good news as these skills are important for being ready for school. But early math doesn’t mean taking out the calculator during playtime. Even before they start school, most children develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through everyday interactions. For example, Raj has two cars; Rosi wants one. After Jill shares one, he sees that he has one car left . Other math skills are introduced through daily routines you share with your child—counting steps as you go up or down, for example. Informal activities like this one give children a jumpstart on the formal math instruction that starts in school.
What math knowledge will your child need later on in elementary school? Early mathematical concepts and skills that first-grade mathematics curriculum builds on include
Understanding size, shape, and patterns
Ability to count verbally (first forward, then backward)
Identifying more and less of a quantity
Understanding one-to-one correspondence (i.e., matching sets, or knowing which group has four and which has five)