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Math for infants is all about the basics. Early math concepts, such as counting, shapes, measurement, patterns, etc., are everywhere around us. It’s just a matter of seeing them and pointing them out to infants. Keep in mind that the majority of math activities for infants should revolve around interactive talking. Making a conscious effort to include basic math in your everyday conversations with infants can help them start to understand early math concepts.

1. Shapes

One of the infant math games you can do with infants is the identification of naturally occurring shapes in their environment.

  • “This box of cereal is a rectangle, but the cereal inside is in the shape of a circle.”

  • “Look at this mirror. It’s the shape of a triangle.”

2. More

One of the first math concepts children understand is more.

  • “Do you want more?”

  • “This pile has more Cheerios than the other pile.”

3. Zero

Infant math activities should also include the concept of zero.

  • “It’s all gone!”

  • “There’s nothing left!”

4. Sequencing

Explain to infants the different steps of a process as you do them.

  • “First we put on your shoes, and then we tie them.”

  • “After we read a book, we’ll go outside.”

5. Sorting and Classifying

Infants can begin to learn how to sort and classify different things, so they can make sense of what’s happening in their environment.

  • “Let’s put all of the wooden blocks in the bin.”

  • “I’m going to put all of the red cars in a pile.”

6. Spatial Relationships

Helping infants understand the physical relationship between objects is another basic math skill you can include in math activities.

  • “Can you help me put this ball in the basket?”

  • “You’re sitting next to the puppy!”

7. Patterns and Matching

Talk about the different patterns you see on items in an infant’s environment, and be sure to point out items that match.

  • “I really like the polka dots on your blanket.”

  • "This sock matches this one.”

8. Measurement

Talking about size, weight, length of time, etc. are important in helping infants learn basic measurement skills.

  • “You are growing taller every day!”

  • “This block tower is taller than the other one.”

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