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Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Math Is Everywhere

Keep children engaged when you have to wait

  • Note sequences and patterns
    Order is important in math. Notice sequences with your child: “Looks like we’re the second in line!” Find simple patterns together, such as the colors of floor tiles or how far apart light fixtures are placed.
  • Spot spatial relations
    This has to do with shapes and locations of objects. You can “hunt” for shapes together: squares, triangles, rectangles, and circles. Use words like on, under, and inside to describe where you see the shapes. Drawing shapes in the air can also be fun.
  • Estimate and predict
    Children often like to make educated guesses. “Which is higher, a stack of five dimes or five pennies?” Make a guess first, and then check to see how close your guess came.
  • Measure and estimate time
    Your child may like timing games: “How many times can you count to 10 before we are first in line?” “How long can you stand on one leg?”

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Child Care Center

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2019