Play Based Learning - Numeracy
By Cheyenne @growing.up.ginger
3, 2, 1… Let’s go!
Have you heard the term, play based learning and often wondered how to incorporate it into your everyday play? Well, chances are, you are already doing it. We don’t need to try very hard to teach kids through play but we can provide them with more resources (bought or homemade) and opportunities to get the job done.
One of our favourite ways to incorporate learning through play is through numeracy. Numeracy can be many things. Counting, sorting, shapes, sizes, the list goes on and on. All of these things can help children develop early math skills or even aide children that have started primary school in developing more math skills.
Why are numeracy skills important for young children? These skills help children begin to develop incredibly important basic life skills like distinguishing patterns, analysing information and problem solving!
So, how can we add these great skills into our play? Easy! I will go through a few ways that I personally love to use numbers and math in our play.
- This can be with blocks, loose parts, felt balls, or even nature finds such as leaves, sticks, flowers. My favourite thing to use for sequencing are our Qtoys Sequencing blocks. Use these pieces to help your child identify patterns, shape recognition and counting.
- Number recognition. There are a lot of resources you can use for number recognition. Make labels for some magnetic tiles, try dimpl digits by Fat Brain toys, or the Heydoodle 100s squares silicone mat, you can even use some cardboard crafts to create a number line.
We use the dimpl digits for easy number recognition for young children, it’s fun and easy to take on the go.
Another great resource we have loved using is the Heydoodle silicone mat. We use this to create patterns, play numeracy games, and identify numbers.
- Try some Assorted nature parts, various sized blocks, playdough rolled into different sized balls or even cars. Comparing things is very mathematical, have your child sort by size, which ball is the biggest? Or even have them race cars, which is the fastest?
- Anything you have on hand can be great for this! Sort toys by colour, size, or even try some sorting activities with your next sensory play session. Have your child place half of the sensory base in one tray and half in the other. They are learning concepts such as dividing, adding, subtraction, and fractions.
These 4 options are only the beginning! The possibilities for engaging with numbers in our daily play are endless. Also, it can be as elaborate or as simple as you need to suit your family, child and household. I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you include numeracy in your day to day play. Who knows?! Perhaps you have already been using it without even realising!
A little bit about the author
"Hi! I’m Cheyenne, I’m a homeschooling mama of 4 sweet boys (ages 18months to 8 years) and expecting a baby girl in 2022. I’m originally from the US, but moved to Sydney in 2013 and now live in rural Victoria near where my husband grew up. As a family, we spend most of our time homeschooling and learning through play. When we aren’t doing those things, we are reading, cooking, sewing, and adventuring. I’m also a lover and connoisseur of coffee, wine and delicious food. I love exploring the benefits of play, and encouraging children to get creative and use their imaginations and I hope I can share that with you all!"