# Helping Your Six-Year-Old Learn to Love Math

It's easy for kids — and parents! — to see math as a school activity. We often think it's just about counting or adding or learning math facts. But by exploring the interesting ways math shapes the world around us, we can help our children begin to think like mathematicians and learn to love math.

## Numbers & Counting

Even at a young age, children are learning math through daily routines and activities. These early math concepts, like numbers and counting, build a foundation for more complex mathematical processes in the future.

## Problem Solving

When you hear the word "math," you probably think about adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. To perform these operations — and more complicated ones down the road — kids need problem-solving skills and number sense.

## Patterns

Once you start looking for patterns, you will start to find them everywhere. There are patterns in colors, shapes, sounds, dances and even daily routines! Learning patterns is a skill that translates directly into algebraic thinking, so by exploring these ideas now, you will be setting the stage for bigger math ideas later.

## Shapes

Understanding shapes is important because it sets the stage for learning geometry. Children start by learning words like "square," "circle" and "triangle," while older children begin to understand three-dimensional shapes and how shapes can be combined to make something new.

## Spatial Skills

What do reading a map, building a block tower and loading the dishwasher have in common? They are all activities that strengthen spatial reasoning, a skill set that is vital to children's success in math and science.

## Measurement

There are lots of things to measure in this world: length, height, weight, capacity, money, temperature and time. And because measurement is grounded in the real world around us, there are plenty of easy ways to explore this aspect of math with your child.