Early math is not about the rote learning of discrete facts like how much 5 + 7 equals. Rather, it’s about children actively making sense of the world around them. Unlike drills or worksheets with one correct answer, open-ended, playful exploration encourages children to solve problems in real situations.
Because the situations are meaningful, children can gain a deeper understanding of number, quantity, size, patterning, and data management. For example, it is easier to understand what six means when applied to a real-life task such as finding six beads to string on a necklace or placing one cracker on each of six plates.
It is for this reason that we used plastic eggs and pom poms to practice our counting! This activity also included a fine motor component with students using tweezers to pick up their “yokes”. Each plastic egg in this project was affixed with a number. Students were then encouraged to place pom poms (which represented yokes) into each egg, matching the print number with the number that they would count out verbally. Your little ones learned so much!