Preschoolers are constantly doing math, even when they are not aware of it. It enables them to problem solve, and make sense of the world around them. Because young children learn best by doing, opportunities that enable them to participate at a hands-on level yield the most promising results.
When they participate in their own learning experiences, they construct meaning as they communicate and represent their understanding of complicated concepts. To help improve our counting skills, we created “Frankensteins” out of flower foam.
Using golf tees as the mouth, nose, and eyes, we counted how many golf tees were needed to construct the “faces”, and then recorded our results.
As they assembled their creations, they were encouraged, not only to count, but to write down what they were counting. This enabled them to observe the relationship between the object in their hands and the symbol that represented what they were seeing.