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Take Advantage Of Mathematics In Early Childhood – Read These Tips

Team StoryWeavers|October 12, 2022, 14:53 IST|

“But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.”

― René Descartes, French-born Philosopher, Mathematician, and Scientist

Young children often utilise a range of mathematical concepts such as creating or finding patterns and classifying objects daily while interacting with their environment. Little do they know that these experiences form the basis of their mathematical thinking and reasoning skills, which are needed later in life. 

For example, here is a small video of children learning the difference between roll and slide, and how various objects have a tendency to roll or slide according to their shape, be it a sphere, a cylinder or a rectangular prism. 

Such lessons can be learnt with the Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn app, which may help young children develop a strong grasp over the fundamentals of mathematics through its interactive, personalised program.

Reasons To Teach Mathematics To Young Children

A paper published by Douglas Clements in 2001 mentions a couple of reasons for intentionally teaching mathematics to preschoolers. He is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Denver. Also, early exposure to mathematics will foster a positive attitude towards the subject. 

  • Children are curious and have informal mathematical abilities that need nurturing.
  • Their young brains are undergoing significant developmental changes and will be benefited by complex and engaging learning activities.

Teach Maths To Your Child With Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn App

Role of Parents In Teaching Mathematics To Young Children

A paper published in the Early Childhood Education Journal mentions that while teaching mathematics to young children, teachers and parents need to ask open-ended questions in a scaffolded manner, i.e. breaking up the learning into chunks and adding structure to each chunk to help them make sense of mathematics through meaningful tasks. 

Mathematics should be a part of young children’s everyday lives. We should also ensure that learning happens naturally as the child explores its environment. 

For example: 

  • Counting the number of steps in the playground
    • Sample Conversational Question: How many steps do you think it takes to reach the playground from our home? You guess first and then we will count. 
  • Gathering plates to ensure that everyone has a plate during snack time
    • Sample Conversational Question: We want everyone to have a plate. Let’s count together and see if we got it right.  
  • Sorting of snacks in different categories that they made themselves
    • Sample Conversational Question: Can you help me sort out snacks into groups? How many groups can we make? Why? What if I add new snacks here? Will things change? 

Asking such questions to young children, and listening to their answers and reasoning will help children see mathematics positively. These are simple, effective, and developmentally sensitive strategies that will help children develop early mathematical skills. 

Parents should start off gently by asking a couple of questions and ensure that these questions are a part of the conversation and not interrogations. Overdoing or asking questions constantly may not be the best way of taking this forward and may lead to resistance from the child. 

Did you know these strategies before? Are you excited to try it out at home? Do you have anything that you would like to share with other parents? Let us know in the comments below. 

Children learn better when they play, and when we make learning fun, they become better learners for life. 

Download the Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn App

Reference: 

  • Linder, S. M., Powers-Costello, B., & Stegelin, D. A. (2011). Mathematics in Early Childhood: Research-Based Rationale and Practical Strategies. Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(1), 29–37. doi:10.1007/s10643-010-0437-6
  • Clements, D. (2001). Mathematics in the preschool. Teaching Children Mathematics, 270–275.

About the Author


“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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