One of the key tasks of kindergarten teachers is to support the development of logical thinking skills in children. This takes place in various situations, both task-oriented and didactic, as well as in free play. Teachers also often use math tasks and puzzles. Below are some ideas for what you can do with your children to get them used to math. They can be done in kindergarten, but also at home.

1. Standing number – the teacher asks the children to sit in a circle and gives them several objects (e.g. 1, 2 or 3). Then teacher asks the person who has three toys in front of him/her to stand up. The same fun can be carried out at home with a slight modification. We put 1, 2 or 3 toys in different places on the floor. Then we ask the child to stand in a place where there are, for example, 2 toys.

2. Brilliant crow – the teacher places a box filled with various objects on the floor. Ask the children to remember how many and what objects are there. He then explains that one of the children will become a crow while the rest will keep their eyes closed. A child-crow walks around the container saying a rhyme: “A crow is walking around, a crow without a tail, with a keen eye peeks what to take from the box.”. At the end, the children uncover their eyes and try to guess what was taken.

Modified homework exercise: we spread a string of different toys or other objects on the floor (e.g. 5 pieces) and ask the child to remember what these objects are, how many there are and how they are arranged. Then we ask the child to turn around for a moment. The parent then swaps items or takes some. The task of the child is therefore to state what has changed.

3. The use of finger rhymes in play, e.g.

I have 10 fingers,
I will tell you about them today! – we wave, we “blink” our fingers
The first eats a big breakfast, – we touch the left thumb; we gesture big and pat each other on the belly
The second catches soap bubbles, – with the left index finger we pretend to burst the bubbles
The third likes to be lazy and snore – we stretch, yawn and snore
The fourth wants to be scratched again and again – we scratch the left ring finger
Fifth small, taciturn, – shows with his finger a gesture on his lips “silence”
The sixth is smart and intelligent – we touch the head with a finger
Seventh still in love, – any gesture of love / heart
But the eighth is talkative, – we show ‘talking’ with our hand
And the ninth only hop – we quickly straighten and bend the right index finger
And the tenth in the fist disappears! – we close the right thumb in the palm of our hand

Of course, tasks related to the conversion of elements or the introduction of addition and subtraction on specifics work well – we spread several objects on the floor and perform specific actions on them. Therefore, preschoolers, especially the older ones, should be familiarized with the abacus and what its function is. It is also good to take them for small purchases and ask them to pay themselves with a banknote or coins. However, at the beginning, you should always calculate together how much money you have and how much change the seller should give you.

 Math doesn’t have to be difficult. The sooner the familiarization with it begins, the easier it will be for the child to understand many dependencies. So it’s worth using simple games and activities at home as well.

So what? Are you starting tomorrow?
Justyna Kapuścińska-Kozakiewicz