When our children are at preschool age, we tend to concentrate on natural numbers. In mathematics, natural numbers are represented by N. They are used to teach number comprehension.
This is actually quite easy, but time consuming. Simply count objects such as building blocks, crayons or any other object with your child. When you count small moveable objects, physically pick them up and move them from one place to another. Count objects all the time, including those things which you cannot pick up and physically move.
When you go for a walk, how many birds can you count? When setting the table for dinner, how many places are there? How many pieces of cutlery do you need? When you are baking cookies, count how many go on each tray. The great thing about counting is that you can count everything! This is also an excellent way of showing your child the applications of math in real life. It is not just confined to pencil and paper!
At Kindergarten level, this concept is expanded upon. Rather than having physical objects to pick up and move, your child will graduate to pictures of objects.
For example: How many butterflies do you see? Color the butterflies, write the number.
Then we will move them onto groups, and introduce the concept of addition.
An example of this might be:
How many balls to you see in box 1? Write the number.
How many balls do you see in box 2? Write the number.
How many balls in total? Write the number.
Always use appropriate printable math worksheets for your childs level of math, so they may practice what you are teaching them!
Once the concept of taking a number of items from one group and combining it with a second number of items from another group is grasped, the concept of addition is understood, it is time to move on to Whole numbers and the number line.
If you enjoyed this piece on Natural Numbers, check out the rest of the Numbers and Operations material I offer or explore all that Printable Math Worksheets has to offer you and your child for the practical reinforcement of their new found skills!