I wrote some math games the other day and included one about making word problems actually fun. For me, in later years in school. they were impossible. So, I always thought if math problems were just part of conversation maybe they would have been easier for me. You know, making up stories with the element of counting.
So, you can try this., even with preschoolers. Tell a story. Make it interactive about a subject they naturally like. Here’s an example. “Let’s make up a story about going to a candy store. One day, Joey and Ryan were taking a walk with their moms and they happen to pass a candy store. Joey bought two candy bars and Ryan bought one lollipop. How many pieces of candy did they buy all together?” Even with a little help, the youngest of kids can count up to three and it’s really just playing a game.
You can do this kind of thing while driving in the car to pass the time, or even while waiting in a doctor’s office. Make up any kind of counting stories. Challenge each other. They’ll have no idea it’s preparation for math class one day.