The Joy of Math During the Early Years
My fourth child was my first to home-school. She never attended a formal school or had to do homework. Her first memories of numbers, shapes, colors, and other early mathematical concepts were gentle and meaningful.
We didn’t have as many materials and resources as we have now, but so much organic learning happened with a simple flashcard set, nature finds, and chalkboard. She learned number sense and recognition, one-to-one correspondence, patterns, shapes, estimation, seriation, and problem-solving. Our days were spent joyfully learning math through play. Eventually, her siblings joined her in our homeschool journey. I pulled her older brother and sister from charter school, and her baby brother grew old enough to play along and use the materials.
With all the children home and my daughter's growing appetite for math, it was time to invest in more resources and materials. I found simple and beautiful wooden toys that would flow seamlessly into our lessons.
Double Sided Wooden 10 Frame
This frame is perfect for early learners who are beginning to count objects and make patterns and those who are beginning to learn addition and subtraction. The frame can also be used to practice writing or hold other tools for lessons once flipped over. You can get on the list to be notified here.
Wooden 20 Frame
I love the open space in the middle of this board. It’s perfect for practicing skip counting, learning math problems, and writing practice. My children love to use play dough in the middle of the board as they practice math problems. You can get on the list for the 20-frame here.
Wooden 5 Round Tray
I use this often with my preschooler. He has used this board to count objects and sort. It has proved to be another simple yet invaluable tool for math play. You can find the 5-round tray here.
Multiuse Sand Tray
This is a new addition to our collection. It’s more than just a sand tray! We used it during math lessons to count objects and coins, match shapes and colors, and do simple addition and subtraction problems. You can find the multiuse sand tray here.
Counters & Play dough Stamps
We used the number cookies during most math activities, from one-to-one correspondence to building a number line. You can get on the list to be notified of the number cookies here.
It is a fun addition to our math lessons. These counters have been used to build math stories, play games, and make patterns. You can find wooden counters here.
Play dough Stamps and Number Cutters
My children love play dough, and any opportunity to use these stamps during a lesson is a win! The stamp set has all the operations and can reinforce concepts with older children. You can find play dough stamps here or number cutters here.
We love flashcards! Flashcards pair great with lessons, are perfect for reviewing concepts, or can be used for interactive learning indoors or outdoors. We use the nature color and shape cards for indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts, and my children love it!