[Pibe-division] Babies, beads cupboards and Math

Dr. Denise M. Robinson dmehlenbacher at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 7 11:59:51 CDT 2011

Babies, beads cupboards and Math 
Counting starts with the simple things.

Inexpensive counting starts with a long sting and a set of beads...or 
even lots of buttons lying around. Help the child string the beads or 
buttons on the string and count as they string it. Then tie knots at 
each end and have the child count moving the beads from left to right 
and back again. Make strings of ten, so counting to higher numbers is 

Make different lengths and tie around their neck for a necklace. Make a 
small strand on elastic and tie around wrist for bracelets. Keep their 
minds active and busy so they won't be thinking about poking their eyes 
or rocking for entertainment. They can wear their entertainment.

Cupboards are also a great way to learn math, spatial concepts and 
stacking. Have your child sit on the counter after you go grocery 
shopping and have them place the cans of food in the cupboard. I can 
already tell you, they will want to do this over and over again. That is
 fine. It is worth the mess at first and the inconvenience for you, as 
this teaches so many concepts. 

I used to have several drawers and the bottom cupboards of my kitchen 
just for small children who would enter our house. I had a large can of 
beans with a bowl and stacking cups. The child will get these out, open 
and start scooping from the can of beans and measuring into the bowl and
 vice versa. I did this with rice also. They have that lower cupboard 
full of canned goods and the child will pull them all out (you will have
 to help them at first to know what to do) then 1 by 1, place them back 
on the shelf, counting each can they place back in the cupboard. 
Depending on the size of your cupboard, the child should be able to 
stack 2 or 3 cans on top of each other. For beginners, the sides of the 
shelf are great to help support an off centered can, but they get good 
at this. Then they count the cans as they stack. They also eventually 
learn how many cans will fit in a certain space.

While the tiny child would be playing in the cupboards, I would be 
making dinner. Of course, if the child were 3 or more, the child would 
get up and help me. As you know their attention wane's quickly, so then 
they would go back down to the cupboards and continue to "play".

By building in things to do at the child's level and around what you 
already do, they quickly gain concepts about the world around them.
Denise M. Robinson, TVI, Ph.D. 
Teacher of the Blind & Visually Impaired
TechVision-Independent Contractor
Specialist in blind programming/teaching/training
509-674-1853     deniserob at gmail.com
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