NUMBERS & MEASUREMENTS
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Build & Learn is a construction set that we have developed for daycares, kindergartens, and schools.
We believe that toys should be able to endure rough play and that children should be able to move and play with the figures they build. That is why Zpiiel elements are made from hard plastic and have ball joints.
Childcare providers and clinics are already using Build & Learn to train childrens fine motor skills, memory, eye-hand-coordination, sensory stimulation, and understanding of shape and colour.
The Zpiiel Build & Learn series helps children develop their early literacy and early math skills to better prepare them for the next chapter in their lives: school. In the series you will find three focus areas: The Alphabet, Numbers and Measurements, and Shapes.
Focus on early math skills with Numbers and Measurements or Shapes, on early literacy with The Alphabet, or order the whole series for an allround experience.
While each product has a specific focus they can also be used for child-initiated play where the children decide what to build using only their imagination.
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NUMBERS & MEASUREMENTS
Children are curious beings with a thirst for learning and it is something that we should support from an early age. Many daycares and
preschools today are really good at supporting children’s early literacy by practicing the alphabet, rhyming and writing their names. But
did you know, that a better indicator of their later academic lives is their early understanding of math?
In this material we have created four activities specifically with the purpose of improving young children’s early math skills. The
activities are easy to start with a small group of children and can be adjusted for the age and skills of the children. Most importantly, the
activites are fun and feed children’s natural curiosity about numbers.
WHY ARE EARLY MATH SKILLS IMPORTANT
Math is much more than counting and recognising numbers, it is, at its core, about problem-solving. While learning to read and write
is an important foundation, it is equally important that children have basic math skills. When children start school basic skills within a
range of math areas will help them succeed and ease the transition from daycare to school.
This material focuses on the areas of math that revolve around numbers and measurement. Math also includes spatial sense and
patterns. Activities for those areas are included in our Build&Learn Shapes material. The math skills children need to learn in regards to
numbers and measurements are:
- Number sense
The ability to understand numbers. It often starts with counting which most children practice at an early age and it is often their first encounter with math. Later on, they will learn to count backwards as well. This is also the ability to understand numbers. For example the number 2. Children must learn how to count to two, what shape 2 is and that the name of 2 is “two”. Number sense is also the ability to add and subtract.
This is where children learn to connect numbers with their reality. When children first start counting they typically just learn the order of the numbers but not what it means. They might count five pencils on the table but not understand that it means there are five pencils – that is the next step in learning math, and is called representation.
When children begin to understand number sense and representation they are ready to begin estimation. This is basically the same as good guesses. It is the ability to make an estimated guess on which pile out of two has more pieces of something. Children practice their estimation skills when they use or hear words like “more” and “less”.
This is where children learn that they can measure distance, height, weight and many more things. At first it is unimportant which
measurements they use, they start by gaining the simple understanding that they can measure things. Later on they can learn that some things are measured in kg. others in cm. and so on.
It is the combination of these skills as well as spatial sense and patterns that set children up with a solid math foundation. Because of this those are the areas that the included activities focus on. This product is meant as an easy tool that you as an educational staff member can use in your everyday work with childrens’ early math skills.
ZPIIEL AND MATH
Play and Learn
Playing is an incredible way for children to practice basic numbers and measurement skills. Children are naturally curious about
numbers, and meeting them in their interest and reacting to it is important. The Zpiiel elements can be used both in child initiated play
and in planned educational activities.
Play with all senses
When you play with Zpiiel Build&Learn a lot of senses come into play: Children can touch, look at and manipulate the numbers.
Furthermore, when adults join in they can add the hearing sense and problem-solving aspect. Some ways to do that is by talking about
the numbers and give the children assignments that they need to solve. Children will also make use of their tactile sense and be able to
physically touch and feel the numbers. Building the numbers instead of only writing them helps children understand the numbers on a
Your imagination is the only limitation
With this product you build numbers yourself using the building set, and you can easily involve the children in this. The elements have
ball joints which means that it is easy to change the shape of the numbers. Find inspiration for activities that improve early math skills
in the following pages. However, the elements can also be used for free play where the children build houses, animals, monsters or
anything else they want.