Spring is the time for planting and today’s kindergarten readiness fun is planting some math. Math is somewhat like a seed; it’s ideas that get planted in kids brains that grow into all kinds of connections. For kids to learn that numbers mean how many they first need to understand that one number means one more item. This is called one-to-one correspondence and is the foundation for number learning. Children may be able to say numbers in order but may not necessarily figure out that each time they count that means one more. Kids need to understand this 1-to-1 relationship first so they can link one number and one object.
For kids to grasp this idea they need to have lots of play experiences with one to one matching. This play activity uses an egg carton (with 2 end spaces cut off to make 10 instead of 12) and some seeds. We’re pretending that each egg space is a little pot and “planting” 1 bean seed in each space. Kids need to be beyond the putting everything in mouth stage. After fun with beans, Lee wanted to do it again using beads and then with more beans. Each time, every pot got 1 more.
Math is about numbers but it is also about relationships. Putting one object in one space is like creating a relationship. Lee had fun playing with the seeds and ‘pots’ and was building her understanding of math at the same time. Playing and learning is another great relationship. Do you think your child would enjoy this activity, too?