Teaching kids math is pretty easy once they learn to count. So first you need to teach them number recognition and sequences. Leap Frog has an entire system to get kids ready for learning math. The first is with Leap Frog’s new movie Math Adventure to the Moon. Lionsgate sent me a copy of the DVD to review in honor of Math Day, March 14th, and I like watching it with my kids.
Tad and Lilly are trying to count in the beginning and Tad can’t get past the number four. So their friend Edison transports them to a Spaceship where they can fly to the moon. This space ship helps them with their counting when it only allows them to take 10 items on the ship with them. Ha Ha, ten items, thanks Leap Frog for the adult humor. Part of math includes counting in different intervals and learning sequences and I was glad that Leap Frog included both of these in their math adventure. Tad and Lilly never made it to the moon. On the way they ran into a space storm and crashed onto a cute cube planet; where they had to do even more counting before they could return home.
LeapFrog: Math Adventure to the Moon is great for kids and parents alike as it encourages a shared and interactive educational experience that allows parents to watch their kids learn! You can purchase the DVD and see clips from the new film at http://www.leapfrogdvds.com
Also included in Leap Frog’s arsenal for preschool kids and toddlers are math toys that only re-enforce all of their other teachings. Remember it’s through repetition and interaction that your children are going to learn.
Learn & Groove® Counting Maracas – Get in the learning groove with the Learn & Groove® Counting Maracas. Music Play mode encourages baby to explore and create music—inspires creative interaction and open-ended play. In Counting mode, each shake encourages your child to count to 10 in both English and Spanish. $16.49; 3-36 months
Chat & Count Cell Phone – Fun learning in a smart little phone! Sing along to songs about counting and phone routines, explore more than 15 phone activities and call on Scout for learning fun as you trade calls and voicemails with your puppy pal. Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path for customized learning insights and ideas to expand the learning. $14.99; 18 months – 3 years
They also shared math tips with me to share with you.
TIP #1: Math is everywhere!
Next time you’re in a waiting room with your child, scan the room (or the magazines on the tables) for evidence of "math." Advise your child to find as much math as possible, and you can give clues if you need to. Numbers, patterns, shapes, categories, and measuring devices (e.g., ruler, scales), are just a few examples of some of the math you might see all around you!
TIP #2: Patterns and Codes are All Around Us!
Make patterns using standard household objects. For example line up repeated objects–sock, stuffed animal, sock, stuffed animal, and so on. Next, ask your child to continue the pattern to figure out the "secret code." You can vary the difficulty of the pattern to suit your child’s ability–banana, banana, pear, banana, banana, pear. You can also make deliberate errors that your child needs to find–pear, apple, bananna, pear, apple, banana, pear, pear, banana.
TIP #3: Play the Sorting Game!
Take a deck of cards, and discuss with your child all the ways you can sort the cards. They can be sorted by color (red versus black), suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs), numbers (2’s, 3’s, etc.), royalty versus numbers (jacks, queens, and kings versus the numbers), odd versus even numbers, etc. Sky is the limit! You can play the sorting game with many collections of things around the house, such as socks and building blocks.
TIP #4: Since It’s the Weekend — Make it a game night!
Playing number-related, age-appropriate board games, such as Chutes and Ladders, can help support many math-related skills. For an important twist, help your child practice saying each number he or she lands on and passes by with each roll of the dice. For example, if your child is on 23 and rolls a four, help him or her say "24, 25, 26, 27" instead of "1, 2, 3, 4." This way, your child can learn about order and magnitude (i.e., how large or small a number is in relation to other numbers).
TIP #5: Count-down for Launch!
You and Your Kids can pretend to be rocket ships set for launch. Practice counting down to blast-off! You can make the challenge as easy or difficult as you want remembering that you don’t have to start counting down from 10. You and your kids can count down by ones (e.g., 17, 16, 15, 14…) or Practice counting by 2’s (e.g., 25, 23, 21, 19…)! For advanced math students, try multiples (e.g., 21, 18, 15, 12…)!