At 21 months, your child may or may not be interested in counting but is definitely preparing herself for Math in the future. They are called pre-math skills and are very important before you start formal Math with children. Let us look at some simple pre-math activities you can setup at home. Some of them are matching, sorting & one to one correspondence. You can use anything in the house to match or sort. Here are some ideas.
Make sure you follow this entire series where I list month-wise Montessori inspired & play based activity ideas for developing motor, cognitive, social & emotional skills.
Grab your child’s socks in various colors and patterns. Let her/him match the pairs. A simple visual discrimination activity and your child can even help you while you fold the laundry!
Even when your child does not know the letters of the alphabet, you can still give her/him a matching game where s/he can match the letter based on what pattern s/he sees. This will help in visual discrimination which is an important skill to master before reading and counting.
Are you done with teaching basic colors to your child? Then, it is time to teach her/him about silver and gold while s/he sorts your jewellery in two containers. Sorting is a precursor to counting.
Did you manage to mix up your stash of dry fruits recently? Or for that matter anything in your kitchen like bhindi & beans? Then it is time for your toddler to sort them for you! It also gives the child an opportunity for sensory play – tactile as well as using her/his taste buds. Language can also be introduced simultaneously – naming the dry fruits or vegetables in a hands-on way rather than through flash cards.
This activity is also a precursor to counting. Here, I have 4 diyas and 4 cotton wicks and the activity is to put one wick in each diya. The activity looks very simple to us but is one that builds the foundation for complex math concepts in future. You can take anything from your home to practice one to one correspondence like a fixed number of bowls and the same number of spoons and ask your child to put one spoon in each bowl.
Always follow your child’s lead as I mentioned above. These activity ideas are mere pointers. The key is to observe and follow your child’s interests and skill set.
Look out for my next article in this series where I will share some more DIY activities that you can do with your 21 month old child! Missed the earlier one where I have shared fine motor and art activities for your 21 month old? Find it here.
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