What to do with this activity?
Have fun with everyday activities in your home and make them part of learning. For instance, play laundry basketball with your three or four year old.
First, have a game sorting the clean socks into pairs - sorting is an early maths skill. Spread out all the clean single socks on the bed. Have a race to see who can match and roll up the most pairs. Count to see who won.
Then put the laundry basket on the floor and aim the rolled up socks at the basket, one pair at a time. Let your child stand quite near the basket, and step back yourself to throw from a distance. Count how many times out of ten you can get a pair of socks in. Talk about how far away the basket is for each throw - one step, two steps, three steps?
This activity improves hand-eye co-ordination skills, and is good sorting and counting practice. It will also help your child understand the idea of distance and teach them how to take turns. Most importantly it's an enjoyable way to spend time together and laundry time will never be the same.
Children learn numbers and maths in a natural way through play and everyday activities. It’s different to school and should always be fun and practical – that way your child will enjoy working with numbers.
Your child also develops a sense of patterns and what time means in everyday life. This is important for helping your child to manage everyday activities – going places, how long they have to wait and understanding when things will happen in the future.
Talking about numbers helps your child’s fluency in counting, estimating and understanding numbers and money in everyday life. It takes time for children to understand addition and subtraction so use objects when helping them understand this or when doing their homework.
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