Everyday, our children exhibit early math skills in their play, routines and other daily activities, like when they sort their toys, when they scoop the sand and pour it into a container, when they solve their wooden puzzles or when they count while climbing up the stairs and when they say, "no more" and ask for more food, etc.
Here are two crafts that could help expand our children’s mathematical skills. All we need are popsicle sticks, glue, markers or paints and some photos.
1. Shape & Colour Match-up
Draw a shape or two on two popsicle sticks. The shapes are drawn in various colors. The sticks are all mixed up in a box. The child will sort and match the sticks to create the shapes.
2. Popsicle Sticks Puzzle
Lay down five or more popsicle sticks on a table. Ensuring there is no space in between the sticks, then, tape them. Carefully flip over the taped sticks. Now, you can draw anything on the popsicles sticks. Once you’re done, you can remove the tape. If you don’t know how to draw, you can glue the sticks on the back of your favourite photo (i.e family picture, a photo of your child, etc.). Once dry, carefully cut apart the sticks with an Exacto knife. Then each stick is a piece of your puzzle.
Jumble the popsicle sticks up and have your child solve the puzzle.
Note: When the children are doing these activities, I recommend you use these following words to enhance their vocabulary, too.
Match – a pair, each one of which resembles or harmonizes with the other
Sorting – arranging according to size, class, colors, kind, quality, quantity, etc.
Shapes – a definite distinctive form i.e. square, circle, triangle, rectangle etc.
Colours – the quality of an object with respect to light reflected by the object
Symmetry – an exact correspondence in position or form about a given point, line, or plane
Size – the bigness, smallness of things, physical dimensions of things
Reflections – an image or shape as it would be seen in a mirror
Equal – having the same or identical in value
Different – unlike in form, quality, amount or nature
Solve – to find an answer to a problem
Design – to create, to execute; an arrangement of lines or shapes created to form a pattern or a decoration.