Loving Math: Let’s Count Toddler Style!

2015-08-15 12.26.45“I hate math with a passion!” some people willingly admit. Nevertheless, most people eagerly share when their child, grandchild, niece, nephew or even little cousin is capable of counting to ten or even to one hundred. For some, it’s major competition, and they love flexing those “parent-of-the year” and “my-child-is-a-genius” muscles because their two year old or even one year old is able to count. I must abashedly admit that I’m one of those parents who’s so proud of my two year old daughter.

Yes, counting is an accomplishment, but learning the concept of numbers and how to apply it with basic math, such as adding and subtracting is not easy feat. So I am extremely proud to share a milestone my toddler “the math wiz” has accomplished. Quinn has always enjoyed singing songs about numbers and will point them out during our outings in the checkout lines, in the supermarket or just walking down the street where numbers are visible. However, within the past few months she has began applying the concept of addition and subtraction. She clearly knows that one plus one equals two and that one plus one plus one is three, as she will ask for two more treats so that she can have three or one more toy so that she can have two. When she has three pieces of pineapple remaining and eats one, she will say, “Now I have two, mommy!” I’ve even observed her on occasion using her fingers to count, leaving me to wonder if it’s instinctive considering that I never suggested to her to use her fingers.

About a month ago, she went and grabbed several birthday hats from her birthday party and began to count them. In the early stages of counting items, Quinn would count some items twice or just skip over some. Also, she often would count to ten regardless of how many items were there, but this time she counted each hat just once and was confident and certain about how many were there. I was so impressed.

This makes me wonder if we are underestimating our children’s capabilities. Of course, I do not want to pressure Quinn and do not plan on having “toddler counting boot camp,” and it may be too early to tell if math will be one of her strong areas. Nevertheless, even in 2015 females are often steered away from professions dealing with math. I want my little girl to know we are counting on her to simply want to continue learning, and we will try our best to provide her with a stimulating and fun environment that helps her to love math or at least appreciate the necessity for it.

Here’s a video of Quinn counting. Enjoy 🙂

All the best,

Tanya

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