Young children have a natural sensitivity to quantity and counting even before they know the words for these concepts. Infants begin noticing changes in amount, such as the difference between three toys and one toy. Between two and four years, children begin to hold up fingers to tell how old they are, count objects with one-to-one correspondence (count objects in order one-by-one), and notice whether a snack was divided evenly with a sibling or friend.
Families can use the activities in this section to support children’s math skills, including problem-solving, understanding what numbers and counting mean, adding and subtracting items from a collection, finding shapes in the world around them, using location words (over, under, between), sorting and classifying objects into different groups or categories, creating patterns, and learning about measurement (shorter, smaller, full, heavy, faster). Math concepts help young children ask thoughtful questions, compare, sort, think logically and flexibly, and solve problems in their daily lives.