extend the learning: at home

Build your child's math skills with these extended learning activities from the Team Umizoomi Educational Consultant.

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Want to help boost your child's mighty math powers? Team Umizoomi's Educational Consultant, Christine Ricci, Ph.D., has ideas for simple math games you and your child can play every day that will strengthen skills with numbers, shapes, counting, comparing, and more, while also building math confidence.
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Patterns All Around

Looks for patterns in your world: Gardens, fences, bricks, scarves, quilts, and even some pajamas are designed with repeatable patterns. Name the pattern and then see if you can figure out how to extend it, what would come next?
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Sorting Mail

Help your child learn to categorize and sort objects. One fun (and helpful) game is to sort the mail. Have your child put all the catalogs in one pile, all the long rectangular envelopes in another pile, and all the square envelopes into a third pile. Now count them. How many catalogs did you get? How many envelopes?
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Sock & Shirt Sorting

Need help with the laundry? Have your child sort the laundry into piles for each person in your household (by size, small socks for the baby, medium socks for the preschooler, and big socks for Mommy or Daddy), or by type (socks, shirts, pants, towels, etc.).
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Counting While Brushing

Even something as routine as brushing your teeth can turn into an exciting math game. Stand in front of the mirror and have your child count how many teeth he has? How many on the top? How many on the bottom? Now look in your mouth. How many do you have?
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Measuring More or Less

Here's a splashy way to introduce measurement: Pour some water into a glass and fill it to the top. Now take a bowl and pour the water from the glass into it. See if the bowl takes more or less or the same amount of water to fill it. Experiment with all different kinds of containers.
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Measure Your World

Grab a standard ruler and start measuring things around the house. How long is a fork? How tall is the flower vase? Is a pencil longer or shorter than your fork? How long is your foot? Is a soda can longer or shorter than your foot? Help your child understand that measurement allows us to compare objects. Can they find 10 household objects that are shorter than their foot?
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Map Your World

Encourage your child's spatial awareness by helping him draw a map or diagram of where you live. Where's the kitchen? Where's your bedroom? Bathroom? How many steps is it from the kitchen to the bathroom? Now fill in some numbers. How many stairs are there going upstairs? How many doors (interior and exterior). How many windows? How many chairs at the kitchen table?
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Heavy and Light Comparisons

Have your child hold two objects and guess which object is heavier or lighter. Try a block or a toy car. A hairbrush or a toothbrush. A straw or a spoon.
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I'll Time You!

Is your child interested in time? Give him or her a sense of how long a minute is by timing her as she does these activities. How many jumping jacks can you do in a minute? Can you stand on one foot for a minute? How many times can you bounce a ball in one minute? Can you not make a sound for a minute?
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Phone Practice

Write out the phone numbers for friends and relatives. Have your child practice entering the numbers into the phone (in the right order) to call grandparents aunts, uncles, etc.
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Coin Counting

Got a pile of change? Count your coins together. How many pennies, nickels, quarters, and dimes do you have? Sort the coins into piles based on the coins color or size. Older children can put the coins into wrappers from your local bank, counting out 50 pennies, 40 nickels, 50 dimes, and 40 quarters. How much money do you have all together?
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Number Art

Write one number on a piece of paper and ask your child to turn it into a piece of art. For example, an easy one is turning a number 8 into a snowman. What can you make with a 2 or a 5?
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