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Through fun playtime with your child, you can assist your child to love rather than dread mathematics. Far too often, as parents, we separate the need to play with the need to learn at school. When a child plays, they use all their senses to problem solve, makes links between different aspects of their lives, learn about themselves and their capabilities.

In other words, sensory play (using all their senses) encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem-solving, and creativity. So, from a very young age, children are learning to decompose complicated concepts to their level of understanding.

By using concrete apparatus – any object that can be counted or touched – and can lay a solid foundation for mathematical terminology, e.g., more/less/equal to/most/least/adding/subtracting, etc.

Once a solid foundation is set, critical abstract learning can occur, e.g., number recognition, bonding, number sentences 3 + 4 = 7, mental mathematics, etc. Then, mathematics at school becomes a breeze!

Being creative, without the pressures of formal desk learning, creates an integrated understanding which is far more valuable than rote learning. This makes it a wonderful opportunity to spend time playing/teaching your child while developing number sense, mathematical reasoning, and problem-solving.

Do not forget to always chat to your child about the why, why not, or what would happen in any situation, and enjoy fun, quality time with one of the most important members of your family.

Picture: Number operations and relationships with concrete apparatus

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