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Health & Parenting

Reading, Writing, and Math Skills for Preschoolers

How to make learning fun and help prepare your child for kindergarten.
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Learning a Second Language

If you’d like to teach your child a second language, the preschool years are a great time to do it. “For most children, the earlier they’re exposed to other languages, they more fluent they’re likely to be as they get older,” High says.

One way to teach your child to be bilingual is to speak, sing, and read to them in both languages from the time they’re born. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, learning more than one language will not cause a child to develop speech or language problems.

Developing Basic Math Skills

To introduce your child to numbers and other math concepts, you can:

  • Count things out loud together. For instance, you can count how many carrots are on a plate or how many pennies you’re putting in a piggy bank. Juanita Copley, PhD, emeritus professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston, suggests walking along a path and counting each line in the sidewalk.
  • Ask your child to point out the numbers he sees around him -- for example, while you’re riding in the car or shopping at the supermarket.
  • Encourage your child to build towers with blocks. “Discuss what they’re building using words like under, over, between, inside, outside, up, and down,”  Copley says. This can help them learn about geometry.
  • Sort objects with your child by color, size, or shape. While you’re folding laundry, you can ask your child to sort the white socks into one pile and the blue socks into another pile. This teaches them to compare whether objects are the same or different.
  • Play a game with your child in which you try to toss six pom-poms into a hula hoop. Help him count how many of the pom-poms land inside the hoop and how many land outside. “Your child will see that numbers can be broken into parts and that leads to an understanding of basic addition,” Copley says. 
  • Teach your child about measuring with cups and tablespoons while you cook. Ask them to help you count how many cups of flour you’re adding to the cookie batter.

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