Can you make the days count with the new year’s resolution to include some kids number play? How can we do this–let me count the ways.
Every day there are countless ways to include kids number play. From getting dressed in clothes with numbers, counting steps to the bus, looking for numbers, telling kids they have 2 more minutes, asking them to try 3 more bites of veggies before dessert, cutting a treat in half, one plate for each person on the table, and alternating turns are all examples of numbers and math in a day. So ordinary.
If numbers and math are so much a part of every day, why then do so many people fear them? Math anxiety is so common it affects 1 in 4 people, kids too. Have you every been overwhelmed by math or terrified of having to figure out a math problem? Something so common, and so needed, shouldn’t be scary. Like the big X on a test, this is wrong. For the sake of our kids and their future, we need to do whatever we can for them to feel comfortable and confident when it comes to math. Kids need to be so familiar with seeing and hearing numbers when they get to school and work with numbers, they greet them like old, familiar friends.
Math is like the chameleon that changes colors. It can be as comfy as favorite, worn out slippers or as exciting and adventurous as the count down on a spaceship. So how do we get kids to like numbers and math? The answer comes in a word: PLAY.
Here are some inspirations. Pick up a package of numbers to play with on the floor or fridge. These are often available at dollar or thrift stores. Get out the play-dough and let your child roll out the numbers of your house or apartment. Draw out a hopscotch on the sidewalk and let your child feel the numbers from toe to head. Count toes and fingers. To turn a frown into a smile at wake-up time, coax a foot from under the covers. Count your child’s toes and pretend there is one missing. Look for it all over, in the bed, under the pillow, mixed up in the blankets, and ‘find’ it. The missing toe is your thumb peeking out between two fingers. Put the ‘toe’ back in place and heave a sigh of relief. Find your own ways to play with numbers and math. If you could super-charge your child’s future with some simple, easy, everyday play would you? Think of ways math and number fear hold you back. Ease and confidence with numbers are gifts you can give your child every day. Childhood days are numbered so can you make each day count with kids number play?
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