Salir de paseo es un momento excelente para hablar de matemáticas con su hijo. Se sorprenderá de la cantidad de conversaciones sobre matemáticas que puede mantener cuando busque las matemáticas en su propio barrio.
Spark your child’s curiosity by noticing numbers, shapes, and sizes of things when you’re out and about. On one day you can focus on counting—everything from the number of stairs to go down, how long to wait for the green light, or the dogs out for a walk. Another time, look at the lines on the buildings and talk about straight lines and curved lines. On another day you can use your fingers to keep track of how many circles or squares you see.
This is not a test for children. A math walk should be fun and enjoyable for you and your child. The moment it stops being fun, it’s time to stop. But, you’re likely to find your child will be pleased with your attention and will start making suggestions to you of what to count and talk about next.
Every neighborhood has interesting math all around. To give you some ideas, we’ve included some pictures from a neighborhood in Chicago.
- “How many stairs are there to get from the sidewalk up to our front door? 1-2-3-4. We went up 4 steps. Let’s go back down now: 4-3-2-1.”
- How many cars will we see as we walk around the block?”
- Yesterday we counted red cars. Let’s count emergency vehicles today….Today we saw cars and bicycles, but no emergency vehicles.”
- “Let’s use our fingers to keep track of how many tall dogs and how many short dogs we see.” (you can change what you count, depending on your child’s interests)
- “I spy a ring around the tree. Let’s step on each stone and count them as we go around.”
- For a preschooler, you may want to stop counting stairs when there are only 2 more stairs left and ask, “How many more do we need to reach the top?”
- Would there be the same number of stairs going down? How could you know?”
- “Do you think they have the same number of stairs at the white house? the red brick house?”
- “I spy bricks that have a rectangle shape. They all have straight lines and they have 4 sides. Can you find other rectangles?”
- “Besides windows and doors, can you find other things that have 4 sides?” (bricks, gate, sidewalk sections, shutters)
- “You found many shapes with straight lines. Can we find any curved lines?” (decorative scrolling in hand railing, awnings, lamppost)
- A child might say that the roof of the house that is brick with white trim is a triangle, but you would say “It looks like a triangle, but it’s missing one side. Triangles have 3 sides.”
- “Mira a la ardilla brincar entre los árboles! ¿A donde crees que va ahora?
- “Vamos a brincar encima del charco chiquito y alrededor del charco grandote.”
- “Let’s step en este pequeño charco, pero dar la vuelta that large puddle.”
- “Let’s walk hacia atrás. What other silly ways can we walk?”