Teaching your toddler to add and subtract can be difficult, especially if he's not used to tinkering with numbers and other math concepts. Fortunately, there are several different ways to show this content to the young person without being traumatized. Some children learn with head exercises, while others need physical stimulation - such as counting objects such as raisins, grapes and lego pieces or even picture books. If your child learns with visuals, you can also use an abacus. Finally, always try to use several different methods to make the process fun.
Method 1 of 4: Doing Head Exercises
Step 1. Teach your child to count from 1 to 10 and then from 10 to 20
Start by saying "1" and asking the child to repeat. Then count to 10 with her. Repeat the exercise at least twice so that your child will get used to hearing numbers aloud and better understand their ordering.
After this initial exercise, ask your child to repeat 10 to 20 with you. Train at least twice
Step 2. Say "1" out loud to your child
Once your child gets used to saying the numbers out loud, start teaching him to add and subtract. To start, say "1" out loud to him.
Step 3. Ask your child to answer which number comes next
Ask "What comes after 1?" and wait five to ten seconds to see if the child responds. Give her a moment to think about her answer.
- If the child doesn't know the answer, say "2" and count to 10 out loud again. After that, ask again, "What comes after 1?" until she can answer correctly.
- You can also say alternate numbers. For example: one day "2", the other says "3" and so on.
Step 4. Encourage your child to tell
You can say "Let's count to 5. Ready?" Encourage the child to take the count slowly. Praise if she gets it right.
When it reaches 5, say something like "That's right!" or "You got it!"
Step 5. Ask your child to count down
You can say "Let's count backwards from 5. Ready?". Encourage the child to keep track of the count and reaffirm that he has to go backwards, not forwards.
Step 6. Explain what addition and addition are
Say "The 'sum' happens when we put two numbers together" and give a simple example, such as adding 1 and 1 to get to 2. Compare the operation to counting, in which we add a number to what came before to get a larger value.
You can also explain subtraction to the child: "The 'subtraction' happens when we take one number off another." Use the same example above, but take 1 out of 2. Compare the operation to the countdown, in which we subtract a number from what came next to arrive at a smaller value
Step 7. Ask your child to add out loud
Say "Let's start at 1 and add 1 more to it. We'll count together. Ready?" Then help the child get to 2 without rushing or pressure.
- You can also ask your child to start at 1 and go to 3. Then he can start at 2 and go to 4.
- Help the child add small numbers, such as 1, 2 and 3. He has to say everything out loud to show his reasoning.
- Don't let the child use their fingers to count. She better do it all in her head.
Step 8. Ask your child to subtract out loud
Say "Let's start at 5 and get 1. Ready?" Wait for a while while he reaches 4 and remind him that the operation is contrary to the sum.
Then help your child subtract 2 from 5 to get to 3 (again, loudly and unhurriedly)
Step 9. Do mental math exercises with your child once a day
The more head exercises you do, the more your child will get used to math. Do this activity with him for an hour a day, always increasing the scope of operations and saying everything out loud for the child to really get used to it.
Method 2 of 4: Using Physical Objects and Query Cards
Step 1. Use small, rounded objects such as grapes, lego pieces or Popsicle sticks
Choose the same objects that the child can pick up and handle without difficulty: fruit, snacks (especially if he gets hungry later), popsicle sticks, lego pieces and wooden blocks are great examples.
Do not use sharp or sharp objects or things that have different shapes and colors. The child may be confused and even hurt
Step 2. Make appointment cards with numbers
You can write 1 to 10 on the cards or print something ready from the internet. Even a deck of Uno will do, as long as each card has only one number.
The numbers must be legible for the child to see without difficulty
Step 3. Ask your child to count how many objects he sees according to the number on the consultation card
Place the objects in a row, then turn over an inquiry card with a number. Ask the child to count the objects until they reach this heat. If necessary, help her at the start.
- For example, if you turn over a card that has the number "5", ask your child to separate five objects.
- Keep practicing the exercise with several different cards until your child gets used to the operation.
Step 4. Instruct your child to add more objects to the list with the reference cards
Take a consultation card and ask the child to sort out how many objects the number represents. Afterwards, take another card and say: "And now, how many objects would we have if we added this value?". Wait for the answer and don't be in a hurry.
For example, if you draw a card that says "3", instruct your child to separate three objects. If the second card has "3", ask him to add two more objects to the three he had before. Finally, he has to count how many items he has in total (5)
Step 5. Ask your child to subtract objects from the list
When the child gets used to adding, instruct him about subtraction with objects. Show her the value of the first inquiry card and ask her to sort things out. Then show the second one and say "And now, how many objects would we have if we took this value off?" Again, wait for the answer.
For example, if you draw a card that says "5", ask your child to separate five objects. Then, if you get a "2", ask the child to draw two more objects out of those five. Finally, he has to count how many items he has in total (3)
Step 6. Practice addition and subtraction with objects once a day
Get into the habit of doing an hour of addition and subtraction exercises with your child using these objects and reference cards. Increase the values more and more.
Step 7. Make more query cards, but with addition operations
Make cards with operations such as "1 + 1", "2 + 2", and so on, to get the child more and more used to adding. She can also use objects as support.
Then make cards with more complicated additions and even subtractions, such as "3 + 2" and "5 - 2"
Step 8. Use different objects and games to entertain the child
When your child gets used to the subject, change the objects so he doesn't get bored and play with higher and higher values. All of this ensures that learning won't get boring.
Method 3 of 4: Using Picture Books
Step 1. Use picture books that talk about addition and subtraction
Picture books are great for kids who learn more from visuals, not so much from head exercises. Buy something cool that talks about basic math concepts at any bookstore or online. The book might even have a theme, like animals or interesting characters.
You may have to go to the children's or nonfiction section of bookstores to find cool math books
Step 2. Buy a picture book that is suitable for your child's age and learning level
The book has to be made for your child's age group, such as "zero to 2 years" or "2 to 5". Some works are also sold according to the grade level recommendation, such as "kindergarten" or "first grade".
- You can even buy a picture book with a story that includes math, especially if your child is a little older and already understands these things.
- Buy a book with eye-catching drawings so your child will never get bored.
Step 3. Study the entire picture book with your child
Read the book with your child regularly. Encourage him to talk about numbers, addition, subtraction, and the like.
Some picture books are more interactive, such as when the reader has to count the number of objects in an image or answer certain questions about addition and subtraction. Ask your child to do these exercises to learn more and more
Method 4 of 4: Using an Abacus
Step 1. Purchase an abacus at a local or online toy store
The abacus is a calculating instrument made with ten sticks attached to a wooden frame and 100 colored beads (or balls). These beads are divided among the ten sticks.
- Buy an abacus that has brightly colored beads to get your child's attention. They will be arranged in five lines of different tones followed by five lines of the same tone but distributed differently.
- Buy an abacus with large beads that your child can handle without difficulty.
Step 2. Move all beads to the same side
Place the abacus on a table in front of the child and transfer all the beads to the same side. That way, your child will learn more by listening to you say what you're doing out loud.
Step 3. Move a bead from the first row
Show your child the abacus so he'll notice you've moved a bead.
Step 4. Ask the child to repeat the operation with other accounts
It can start on the last line of the abacus. While moving, he also has to say "1" to show that he understands the amount.
Step 5. Repeat this exercise with a different number of accounts
Move two beads from the first row and ask your child to repeat the move, but on the last. Keep this up until you reach 10, with the child always repeating what he is doing aloud.
When you get to "10", all the beads in your line and the child's line have to be on the other side of the abacus
Step 6. Transfer some beads from one side of the abacus to the other
Bring all the beads in a row to a single side of the abacus. Then move a bead back to its original position and add another piece.
Step 7. Count the beads you move aloud with your child
Point to the beads you moved and say "1, 2" next to your child.
- You can transfer one more account to the other side and recount. Point to both and say "1, 2, 3" next to your child.
- Continue this exercise one account at a time until you reach "10".
Step 8. Subtract some beads from one side of the abacus to the other
All beads must be on one side of the abacus. When this happens, transfer one of them back to the starting position.
Step 9. Count how many accounts are left with your child
Have your child count how many beads are left on that side of the abacus while pointing and saying "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9" next to him.
You can keep subtracting beads from one side and counting how many are left until you have a single piece at one end and finally none
Step 10. Continue training addition and subtraction with the abacus
Add or subtract two beads at a time to one side of the abacus, always counting out loud. Take it slowly for your child to really get used to the operations and only then increase the amount.