Reduce Math Anxiety by Playing with Blocks
It’s important to play with numbers at an early age. This helps build familiarity with foundational math concepts. It also associates numbers with playtime and fun. This builds math confidence while reduces any future math anxiety.
Children often display an intuitive understanding of math concepts. Babies who are under one week old can sense that seeing ten teddy bears is different than seeing one teddy bear.
And children who are around 6 months old can sense the concepts of addition and subtraction. Show a six-month old two teddy bears. Then put up a screen or a towel and hide one of bears. The child will sense the subtraction!
Bring the teddy bear back. The child will also sense addition!
This indicates that a young child knows the difference between one and two. These simple foundational math concepts can show up at an early age.
By age four or five, many children can count to 10. They might not get all the numbers in the right order. That’s OK, though. They’re still learning.
Accuracy and confidence can improve when you give children blocks to count and stack. It also helps to look for the numbers on the blocks and put them in order.
Ask five-year-old children to put numbered blocks in order, then watch what they do. Do they put the lower numbers farther apart that the high number blocks?
If they do, that’s fairly common. Most children that age haven’t quite figured out that the distance between the numbers is one. They’re still learning that concept.
As they get a little older — around 8 or 9 -- they’ll start spacing out the blocks equally. That’s when they start grasping the idea that the difference between each number is the same. When you build with blocks, you also build math skills.
Start playing with numbers and math concepts at an early age. When you associate numbers and math symbols with playtime and fun, you can significantly reduce math anxiety and increase math confidence!