Introducing Mathematics With a Toy Till
Introducing Maths Skills While you Play With a Toy Till
Talk about mathematics or money for that matter and you will find there are plenty of people whose response is “oh I was never any good at maths”. So how do we give our children confidence with money and numbers? One great place to start is to introduce the concepts early during playtime with a toy till.
Toy till are lots of fun, children get to role-play being different characters they see in their daily lives, they have buttons to press and often make a pinging noise when they open, so giving your child a toy till is bound to go down well.
But there are also huge educational benefits you can derive from playing with a toy till.
Using a toy till to introduce and practise maths skills
Of course how much maths you can introduce depends on the age of your child, but even when they are really quite little you can start teaching them to count and slowly move up to basic addition and subtraction.
Then you can start to explain the different coin and note denominations, helping them to work out the correct change when you hand over the money for your imaginary cup of coffee, ice cream or basket of essential supplies.
Children learn to count 1-5 or 1-10 quite early simply by hearing us counting and repeating the numbers. You can count with your children in lots of different scenarios. Count the number of steps each time you climb the stairs. Count the number of blocks as you build a tower together. Or count the number of items in your shopping basket.
When playing shop you can keep things simple for young children by making each item cost 1, then you count the items together and hand over the imaginary cash. As children get older you can start introducing 20p, 50p etc and you’ll be teaching kids about fractions with real-world practical examples.
If you are playing shop with slightly older children you can also get them to write, or help them to write price lists and then add up the prices. You could then decide at the last minute to put an item back so they have to practise subtraction as well as addition or get them to help you decide which items to put back if you don’t have enough money. This is a fun game but also a great learning opportunity.
Other Toys for Teaching Maths to Kids
If you are looking for ways to help children learn mathematics in a fun and visual way there are lots of great toys available.
Fraction toys are great as they give children a really easy visual representation of what can otherwise be quite an abstract concept. If you are teaching them about fractions or they are learning this at school you can also support this by consciously making the effort to use fractions in your everyday language and tasks. Get kids to cut things into halves or quarters. Get them to estimate the fraction of a cake for each slice, talk about how full the bath is. All these things really help to make maths real and relatable.
When it comes to times tables we love the times table toys from Big Jigs. They are so simple, just the sum on one side and the answer on the other. But it makes homework lots more fun, and children can even practise quietly by themselves if they are so inclined.
Next Up: Do You Need a Toy Till?