This spontaneous interaction between caregiver and a toddler reveals a number of very early or “precursor” concepts of math. The caregiver uses intonation and stress to emphasize comparison: “we cut the banana but we will peel the avocado.”
As things begin to get messy, the caregiver continues to provide attribute words: “it puts you in mind of lotion… smooth, spreads easily”. Note how the caregiver uses a mixture of questions and comments that assume intentionality & understanding on the child’s part.
Read more about precursor topics and their related concepts: Precursor Topics.
Why is this important?
This delightful interchange between a 14-month-old and her caregiver illustrates several important points about how playful interactions between very young children and caregivers prepare the ground for mathematical thinking and problem-solving.