At age 3 structured play along with telling stories, singing and reading is crucial to the learning process and forms a significant part of a child’s early development.
Playing helps young children’s brains to develop and their language and communication skills to mature. It teaches young children about communication, how to solve problems, and helps develops their motor skills. 3-year-olds improve their logical thinking skills through play by doing activities like puzzles and sorting objects.
As a technology company you may think we’d encourage playing with apps, but at this early age tactile play with real objects works best. It can be as simple as counting the fruit in the bowl or the number of steps in the hallway – either way, it’s hands-on play that works best.
Encourage a love of numbers with your young child
Here are some ideas you can try to help your 3-year-old begin to understand and develop a love of numbers:
1.Talk about numbers
Talk about the numbers that are all around us – you’ll probably surprise yourself when you see how many there actually are! From the remote control and your phone to supermarket aisles, front doors and buses, there are numbers to be found everywhere. Talking about numbers early will help your child see how much they are a part of everyday life.
2.The shape of numbers
Write numbers in sand, chalk them on the ground or use modelling clay to shape numbers and call them by their names to help your child associate the verbal number with its written counterpart.
3.Count on it!
Count whenever you can with whatever you have. Objects like toys, dry pasta or beads are good for sorting, and if you count sweets as they are handed out you’re guaranteed to have your child’s attention!
4.Singing by numbers
Sing songs and rhymes that focus on counting, like
“10 green bottles sitting on the wall….”
“1, 2 buckle my shoe; 3, 4 knock at the door….”
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5 once I caught a fish alive….”
5.Sorting and grouping
Let your child sort objects into different categories and talk about what categories they’ve picked. A good chance to do this is at tidy up time when you can say ‘I’ll pick up all the blue toys, and you pick up all the yellow toys,’ or soft toys and hard toys or any other categories you can think of that your child will understand.
Maths and numbers are all around us, and so are opportunities to give our children a solid introduction to numeracy in a hands-on way that will stand them in good stead for their school years and beyond.