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Math with toddlers can be a fun, interactive activity!
I love a good toddler math activity. They have so much bang for their activity buck. Working on math with toddlers is a quick and easy way to spend quality time together, learn something new, and (most importantly) have fun. It’s absolutely one of my favorite ways to play with my toddler.
Toddlers are very capable little mathematicians. They have all the tools to learn and grasp math concepts. Right now, I’m loving working with my toddler on sorting, patterning and number sense skills. As a former teacher, I’d love to share with you a few activities my toddler and I are doing to work on these important math concepts and build some key math skills.
Working on math with toddlers is a great way to connect and learn.
As I mentioned before, my math focus with my toddler (newly 3 years old) is sorting, introducing patterns, and working on basic number sense. For all the math learning we do around here, we’ve been using a few Lakeshore toys as our main materials for our math activities.
I am currently obsessed with these toys from Lakeshore. Lakeshore was my go-to store when I was a teacher for all my classroom supplies. Now as a parent, it’s my go-to for really quality, educational toys for my kids. The kind of toys where I know we can (and will) use them for years and in many different ways. These toys have a long shelf life. Lakeshore toys are designed by teachers and kids just love them (parents do too!).
The Early Math Activity Center comes with 36 elephants and four math activity mats. I’m in math love with these guys. Here’s what we’ve done with them:
Sorting is a fantastic math skill. When a toddler is sorting, they are organizing data and making decisions about a collection of objects. Using this sorting activity mat, my toddler sorted all the elephants by large, medium, and small. As an added bonus to the math learning, we got to practice his size vocabulary words too.
To up the sorting ante, I also had my toddler sort the elephants by size AND color. Working to sort the elephants by two attributes proved to be a perfect challenge for him. He really had to slow down and think hard as he placed his elephants in the correct groups of three.
My toddler and I have started working on patterning. This is a tough skill! We work on repeating the colors back and forth and trying to identify “what comes next”. Right now, it’s hit or miss. But that’s ok! It’s something we can work on and little by little, he’ll start to grasp this tricky concept. Patterning is a focus still in kindergarten so I don’t expect my toddler to understand it overnight.
For some really hands on work with number sense, we’ve been using the Learn to Count! Dough Mats with Lakeshore Scented Dough. In this activity, he’s working on identifying his numbers and some basic counting. He has the chance to touch and feel the number value as he counts. It’s amazing for his tactile learning! Being able to count to three while touching three dough snakes (that he made, no less!) is doing wonders for his number sense.
He’s also getting the chance to work on his one-to-one correspondence as he counts his dough on each mat. When he’s touching the dough and counting, I have him try to identify the numeral that matches that amount on each mat. It’s been tricky for him! He can count to five confidently, but can’t always identify the numeral 5 on the mat. These mats go all the way to 20 – right now, we are focusing on one to five.
Working on toddler math skills is a fun activity for parents and tots. It teaches important skills and is a great way to spend special time together. Having quality made, expertly tested toys to facilitate that math learning makes all the difference. Lakeshore products are exclusive and unique, and perfect for play based learning at home.
As a former teacher, I know first hand how valuable toys like these are to have in my house. The open ended math learning opportunities from these toys is so important for my toddler. Math with toddlers just got a whole lot easier now that these toys are in our house.
Lakeshore has graciously offered the Busy Toddler community a 20% off coupon code for any one single, nonsale item. Click here to redeem that coupon! To learn more about Lakeshore, find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
What’s your favorite math activity for toddlers?