We have all talked about the interview process for preschool. I can’t tell you how many times parents sat across from my desk and uttered these words, “My child is really smart. I know you hear that a lot, but my child is really, really smart.” Well, some of the children were, and some fell more in the average range.
But my child actually was really, really smart at 14 months, and he is now much smarter than I am. 😉
Keep in mind, it is very healthy to think that your child is the best of the best. This kind of positive thinking translates greatly to their belief in themselves. So, how did I know that my son was so smart at 14 months? He sorted his Halloween candy.
How can you translate your own trick-or-treat loot into a teachable moment? Other than hiding your child’s Halloween candy in a place they cannot reach to teach them about restraint, take a little time to sit down with them and their candy to enjoy some early math games. These basic math games are all lessons your children should be learning in preschool, and your reinforcement may help them pick up the skills even faster.
Five Math Games to Play with Halloween Candy
- Easy Matching Game: Pick one piece of candy out of the bag, and then ask your child to find one of the same kind. See how many matches he can make in a row. When you get to five or ten, it might be time to reward both of you with a piece to eat.
- Candy Sorting: Ask your child to make piles of all the candies that are the same. This is a great transition game after the matching game and gives you a chance to talk about which kinds are your favorites and which you’d rather let someone else enjoy.
- Pattern Making: Make a domino-style pattern with your candy (For example, lay out a Milky Way, a Tootsie Roll, a Milky Way, a Tootsie Roll, etc.). Ask your child to make the same pattern. Ask leading questions like, ‘What should come next to make the pattern longer?” if needed. Then encourage them to make their own patterns.
- Counting by Fives: Count candies into piles of five, then bag or wrap and take to a local children’s hospital or senior center. Sharing is a good thing!
- Picking a Piece (or Two): Last but not least, pick your favorite candy and enjoy it with your child. The math comes in when you have to bargain over how many pieces she can eat – one, two, or three. Sharing this fun is a BOOtiful thing!