Materials: None. (Optional: Found items from nature)
Take a walk with your child and have fun with math talk! There are many opportunities to compare (Which stone is bigger?), assess (How many acorns did we find?), note similarities and differences (Does the duck have fur like the bunny does?), and categorize (See if you can find some red leaves). You can also talk about size (Which tree or house is taller?), estimate distance (Is the park close to our house or far away?), and practice counting (Let’s count how many steps until we get to the corner).
Collect small twigs, shells, acorns, or pebbles that can be used to practice counting with your child. They can also be sorted based on shape, size, color, or item (for instance, all the leaves in one pile and the twigs in another).
Encourage your child to count the different objects they have collected throughout your walk. Make a prediction the next time you walk to see if you will find more or less of those items.
MAKE IT EASIER:
It’s okay if your child isn’t ready to engage in a conversation yet. Count steps aloud as you walk together, or simply talk aloud using math words as you play together. (You found a big leaf ! Look, the one I found is smaller than yours.)
EXTEND THE LEARNING:
Start a nature collection from items you and your child find on your walks. They can use these items for continued math play, pretend play, or making art!