5 ways maths is more than just numbers
5 ways maths is more than just numbers

For younger children, maths can take many forms and is so much more than simple numbers. In this article, we explore 5 things that are all considered maths, and provide you with tips on how to promote it in interactions with your child.

Early Childhood Education

At Avendale, maths is one of the seven academic categories that make up our curriculum - and it’s very important to us.

1) Shapes

Triangular street sign Shapes are everywhere we go, and everywhere we look. At a young age, it’s important for the child to learn what shapes the world is made of. For younger children, shapes games should be focused on the names of shapes, and making patterns from them.Why not challenge your child? Get them to name the shapes they see as you’re out and about, from the circular tables at the restaurant, to rectangular signs.

2) 1-to-1 Correspondence

2 apples, 2 oranges A simple way of learning counting is to do correspondence. This is about understanding that you can have the same number of different objects (such as 1 counter for 1 picture of a bear).Challenge: Put some things from one group together, and ask your child to find an identical number from another group (for example 2 apples and 2 oranges).

3) Comparisons

Big tree, small tree Comparisons are very important, as children will soon learn that objects have similarities and differences. The easiest way to compare 2 items is by shape and colour, but older children will be able to compare weight and volume too. Challenge: Present an object of a certain colour, and get the child to find something of a similar colour, or find an object that is larger/smaller. For older children, look around the house for containers and test to see which one might hold the most water. (‘This one is bigger than that one’).

4) Patterning

Patterning There are patterns in everything we see, just like we can see some shapes. For example, when queuing up, you might find a pattern in the people you see (boy, girl, boy, girl). Understanding patterns can also be extended to other areas of learning, such as rhythms in music, or patterns in language. Challenge: Can you arrange items in a pattern (blue, green, red; or big, small, big, small)?

5) Sets and Classifying

Sets and classifying Classifying (or categorising) can use all of the skills listed above. For example: we can use our comparison skills to see that shapes are different, then classify them accordingly (e.g. a collection of triangles, or a collection of squares). Classifying can be done in many ways at home, such as organising the fruit and veg you see at the supermarket, or organising things according to colour. Challenge: For older children, try classifying according to weight, height or volume.