Children first learn addition and subtraction by using real objects to count and group together. You’ve seen the worksheets, right? So instead of worksheets, let’s bring this concept to life in the pool or bath, keeping it fun!
• Cut up sponges to make small pieces.
• Make a floating circe (you choose how large) with a piece of yarn tied together at the ends.
• Place a group of sponges inside the yarn circle, and ask your child to tell you how many there are, an activity that helps develop one-to-one correspondence.
• Create another circle with another set of sponges and ask your child to count how many there are.
• Overlap the circles so that all of the sponges fit inside and ask your child to count them again. You’ve just introduced addition practice in a fun way!
Start with small numbers and work your way up to larger numbers. Next, you can purchase or make sponges in number shapes, then choose numerals to represent numbers in the group. This activity will help develop the skills of one-to-one correspondence, counting, grouping combining groups, and addition. Early math should be lots of fun! This activity is a sure-fire way to get your water-loving preschooler thinking.