It is well known that children are interested in colors, textures, shiny objects, etc. These materials arouse curiosity in them and a desire to explore in depth. This is why crafts and different expressions of art tend to be attractive activities for children. But what is the purpose behind art and those shiny colors? What is behind those interesting textures and materials?
Arts and crafts awaken creativity, ideas, strategies, and ways of thinking in children that help them see the ideas in their minds become a tangible reality. From the moment a child is presented with all these materials, guided by ideas and suggestions, and the moment the child holds the first material, say a crayon, a pom, or a piece of paper, their brain gets stimulated, sending and receiving multiple messages that prompt them to create.
We are exposed to math concepts from the time we are born and this continues as we grow. We learn how and when to communicate when we are “all done,” and how to ask for more when there is a little bit of food left. Through transitions, we begin to learn the concept of time, and then we continue to learn math concepts through stories, rhymes, and songs. As teachers and caregivers, we also make math part of the children’s day by counting toys when cleaning up, counting the days of the week on the calendar, or when we celebrate birthdays together. Math is everywhere!
What would you think if I told you that a single teaching tool could help you teach math, fine motor, social-emotional, cognitive, and language concepts to young children—a tool that could be used in both directed or independent play? Each month we offer just that in our Fireflies and Buttercups kits!
THe m in steam
The M in STEAM stands for Math. Math in STEAM helps little ones learn about patterns, numbers, shapes, sorting rules, and measurements in hands-on and fun ways. Learning about math concepts starts at an early age. You will likely use the sign and word for more early on with your infants. They will learn that this gets them more of a favorite activity or food. For example, after a child eats his last piece of banana, you might say, “Would you like more banana?,” while using the sign for more. The child might start associating the sign with the word and use it to get more banana. Older infants and toddlers will likely learn the concept of two early on also. For example, they understand: I have two hands. I can hold two toys. I have two feet, two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears! Wow! Learning basic math concepts at an early age can help children learn about more complex mathematical relationships as they grow older.
Here are 8 easy Math ideas to incorporate into your setting: