# Unleash Your Child’s Math Potential Right Now!

Will is feeding his 8-month-old daughter, Maya. He takes a breather and Maya indicates “more.” Will chuckles. “Would you like something else?” Here it comes!” Will says and signs, “All gone,” when the bowl is empty. Maya consumed her meal. “It’s all gone.” Maya gives him a kind grin.

Early in infancy, children learn math concepts and skills. Babies begin to build concepts about maths from birth through ordinary experiences and, most importantly, relationships with trustworthy people. Language—how we communicate with infants and toddlers about numerical concepts such as more, empty, and full—is important.

### Maths can be found everywhere!

Without realising it, we utilise fundamental maths terminology all the time. Sorting and classifying are arithmetic ideas that we use when we separate garments by colour, for example. When we maintain score during a game and calculate how far ahead or behind our team is (number and operations), or when we offer someone instructions to move from one area to another (spatial connections), we’re using math. We frequently employ comparison terms (measuring) like large and tiny, as well as patterns to illustrate the order of everyday routines and activities (“We brush our teeth after breakfast”). We play games and sing songs about numbers and counting with our children (for example, “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”).

Infants and toddlers utilise arithmetic ideas to make sense of their surroundings even when we are not around. Maya, for example, signals when she needs extra food. More is one of the first maths concepts that toddlers learn. Babies inform us, often in spectacular fashion, that they can discern the difference between familiar and unfamiliar people (sorting and categorising). Toddlers attempt to climb into various-sized boxes (spatial connections) and repeat words and phrases from known stories or songs (patterns).

We can make everyday math visible to youngsters by using math speak. Every day presents us with several possibilities to assist youngsters in developing a deeper knowledge of maths topics.

### Math fundamentals

We may be more careful in our everyday interactions with infants and toddlers if we are aware of early maths principles. Here are five simple maths ideas that may be included into our daily interactions with newborns and toddlers.

1. Number and operations—understanding the notion of number, quantity, order, number representation, one-to-one correspondence (that one thing corresponds to one number), and counting.

“You, like your bear, have two eyes. Let’s see how many there are:–1, 2.”

“I’ve got more crackers than you.” As you can see, I have 1, 2, 3 and you have 1. I’ll eat one of mine. I now have what you have!”

“You’ve said mama three times now.” “Mama three times!”

2. Shapes and spatial relationships (geometry)—recognizing and labelling shapes, comprehending the physical relationship between oneself and other items, and comprehending the relationships between objects.

“Look, Jason has fallen beneath the climber, and Aliyah is on top!”

“You’re sitting right next to your brother.”

“Some of the crackers that we have today are square, and some are round.”

3. Size, weight, amount, volume, and time are all examples of measurements.

“It’s difficult to move that chair.” It’s substantial.”

“You slept a long time today!””Let’s see how many steps it takes to get to the mailbox.”

4. Patterns, relationships, and change—recognizing (seeing the relationships that comprise a pattern) and/or generating repeats of items, events, colours, lines, textures, and sounds; comprehending that things change over time and that change may be expressed using math terms. These are the fundamental components of algebra!

“Daddy’s shirt has stripes—white, blue, white, blue, white, blue, white, blue, white, blue.”

“Let’s clap along to the beat of this song.”

“I put the blocks in the bucket, and you empty it.” I replaced the bricks in the bucket; you empty it!”

“Our plant appears to have grown taller today.” “I believe it expanded overnight.”

5. Information collection and organization—collecting, sorting, categorising, and analysing information (data) to help make sense of what is going on in the environment.

“Let’s put the big lid on the big bowl, and the small lid on the small bowl.”

“You always have a big smile when Mommy sings to you!”

“Let’s put the dolls in the basket, and the balls in the box.”

### Try it

Maths should be discussed with your youngster on a regular basis. Diapering, dinner and bath times, neighbourhood walks, and shopping excursions, for example, are excellent opportunities to count, point out shapes and sizes, discuss patterns, and describe how objects are alike and different.

Make a list of math-related terms and phrases. Put it on the refrigerator or someplace else you’ll see it to remind you to participate in maths talks.

Math discourse increases infants’ and toddlers’ daily learning experiences. You’ll be shocked at how much they know and how quickly they can learn. Your math conversation today can help your children succeed in math later in life.

### References

Core systems of number

Number sense in human infants

Core systems of number

Preschoolers’ precision of the approximate number system predicts later school mathematics performance

Core systems of number