They say a child’s work is play, and now research shows that simple, classic baby games may even help with math skills as your child grows. We’re not suggesting you sing square-root lullabies and flash addition cards at sleepy-eyed infants — having fun with your baby doesn’t have to be a job for you, too. These easy activities will get you both giggling and learning.
Size Things Up
You’ve done “How big is baby? Soooo big!” Now expand on that concept by pointing out other size differences: “You’ve got a small cup, I have a big cup.” You can put the items in size order or grab a toy that does it for you, like a set of nesting cups or blocks in graduated sizes. Location matters, too: Try sitting next to your baby, so you have the same perspective, and put a toy in various locations around a box or larger toy. Then talk about “next to,” “above,” and “below.” Sing a little song as you dance the toy around the box, calling out “in front” and “behind.”
Mix and Match
Nothing beats a sorting toy for teaching your tot about size and shape. Another easy way to introduce these ideas is by sorting familiar objects. For example, fill a small bowl with some Cheerios and Goldfish. One at a time, take out a Goldfish and put it in a pile; then take out a Cheerio and put it in a separate pile. You can do this with anything — different-color socks, toy cars, or blocks. After his first birthday, your toddler may be able to do this activity on his own.
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