Preschool is a season of life where hardcore academics haven’t started yet — and that is how it should be. It wouldn’t be right for a little 4-year-old to have to sit at a desk all day, and it wouldn’t be particularly effective either. Here at Rainbow Chimes, we are committed to offering high-quality educational experiences to children of all ages, and preschool is no exception. While we wouldn’t advocate for making preschoolers sit in desks in straight rows, we do believe that it’s a great age to start introducing math concepts. Just not the multiplication table — not yet.
Here are some activities that you can do at home to boost your preschooler’s math skills.
Make it a habit to count out loud whenever possible, and invite your preschooler to chime in. For instance, when you’re setting the table for cereal, say to your child, “I need four bowls. One – two – three – four! Now I need four spoons. One – two – three – four!” Count slowly and use a happy tone of voice. The repetition will gradually sink in, and your little one will become comfortable with higher and higher numbers over time. You’d be surprised at how much children love even simple counting games, like seeing how high you can count out loud together while you’re driving in the car.
2. Pattern Matching
Pattern matching is a skill that your child will develop more strongly in kindergarten, but preschool is a great time to introduce it. Start with simple A-B patterns and see if your child can reproduce the pattern once you get it started. For instance, create a chain of items in a red-blue-red-blue-red-blue pattern, and see if your child can continue the pattern. Ask “What comes next?” Or try it with shapes: circle-square-circle-square-circle-square. Give your child enough repetition to catch on to the “chant” of naming the items, and see if they can continue it on their own.
3. Naming Shapes
Naming shapes in preschool will give children a boost when they move on to kindergarten. The thrill of “already knowing” can set them up with a feeling that they are smart and successful that can follow them all the way through school.
Help your child to identify common shapes like circle, square, triangle, rectangle, and hexagon. Be aware that three-syllable words can be very confusing to children. Also, the fact that “triangle” and “rectangle” both end in “angle” can confuse some children. If they are mixing up these two words, it might be more of a verbal confusion rather than an indication that “they don’t know their shapes.” Be careful to use praise and positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement.
Sorting is an important skill for young children to master, and the great thing is that there are so many ways to do it! Find items for your preschooler to sort that let them learn to sort by different attributes, such as color, shape, or type. You could try letting your child sort coins, silverware, or playing cards, or you could purchase a set of linking cubes or counting bears.
Enroll in Rainbow Chimes Today
One of the easiest ways to give your preschooler the skills they need for school is to enroll them in our award-winning daycare. Learn more about our preschool curriculum and contact us to get started with enrollment.