Children begin to develop mathematical sense from an early age. Therefore it is vital for parents to inculcate and nurture early math skills from the pre-school days. Indian parents, in general, tend to give a fair amount of importance to mathematics. But inculcating math sense in early childhood does not imply focussing only on counting. Counting or enumeration is only a small part of early childhood math. For example, studies have shown that ‘Matching’ and ‘Sorting’ are 2 key skills that ought to be part of the early childhood math development. Matching helps the child to develop the skill to identify same or similar objects based on their properties. Sorting helps the child to understand that objects can be arranged in a particular order, based on the gradation of a property. Counting or enumeration is also an important part of early childhood math. Very often, young parents start teaching mathematics to their child by counting objects. But parents who are interested in early childhood math should understand that the differences between cardinal and ordinal numbers before teaching counting. These are potential areas where the child can get confused. Cardinal numbers represent quantity. Counting is usually done to represent cardinal numbers or quantity. If we ask a child to count number of balls in a basket, then essentially we are asking the child to measure the cardinality of the balls in the basket. Ordinal numbers tell us the position of an object in a list or when arranged in a sequence. They do not represent the quantity. Ordinal numbers are used to represent position (1st, 2nd, 3rd…). In this section you will find many blogs relevant to early childhood math. You will also find worksheets that are designed by child development experts for you to freely download and practice along with your child.
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