By Sarah Pan and Michèle Mazzocco

This time of year is perfect for appreciating the warm sun and company that a farmers’ market can provide. In addition to a variety of fruits and vegetables, you can find many examples of early math at the farmers’ market. A visit to the local market might already be part of your family’s weekly routine. Like many everyday activities, shopping at the farmers’ market offers many opportunities to explore measurement, shapes, patterns, spatial relations, counting, and numbers.

In this blog, we offer ideas for exploring math before, during, and after a visit to the…


By Linda M. Platas

Activities such as card games, shape puzzles, and building with Legos offer great opportunities to practice early math. But, if the activities are too easy or too difficult, children quickly get bored or frustrated. How do you make these activities easier or more challenging to match your child’s skill level?

In many ways, adapting math activities to best fit your child’s development is very similar to how you make adjustments when helping your child learn other key areas of development.

If you think of the process as steps, it looks like this:

  • Pay attention to your…

By the DREME Family Math team

Key Points:

  • Picture books offer many opportunities to develop children’s math skills.
  • Look for books that explore numbers beyond 10 and show a variety of shapes.
  • Share this short video resource about choosing engaging math books.

Reading together offers many opportunities for young children to learn and practice math and literacy skills. With so many books available, how do you choose? What makes for a high-quality math picture book?

Look for children’s books that have attractive artwork, that are fun to read, and that involve intriguing characters. Most importantly, the books should spark wonder…


By Angela Chan Turrou

Key Points:

  • Early childhood faculty at 2- and 4-year colleges in California’s Central Valley took part in a unique, ongoing professional development opportunity to connect around DREME’s early math resources for teacher educators.
  • The initiative kicked off with an in-person meeting in Fall 2019 and continued over Zoom.
  • Despite pandemic challenges, participants were dedicated to the program and passionate about making an impact in their communities.
  • The experience helped inspire early math initiatives and promote positive identities toward math.

“This has really broadened my own thinking about early math — what constitutes early math, how children…


By Jenny Yun-Chen Chan and Michèle Mazzocco

Key points:

● All kinds of play present opportunities to develop children’s early math skills.

● A great way to promote early math learning is to expand on children’s own comments and observations, letting children lead the play.

● We share ideas for deepening mathematical thinking during block and pretend play.

Playtime offers many opportunities for exploring early math. How can parents and caregivers take advantage of these opportunities to help children expand their mathematical thinking?

Explore Math While Playing, No Matter the Toy

In our research, we watched families play and talk together. We found that different types of toys…


By Herbert P. Ginsburg

It is often said that math is all around us. Playgrounds, for instance, can be a great place for caregivers and children to explore the math around them as they play. Let’s see what that means for a young child and a caregiver. (I have italicized the everyday math words used in this blog post.)

Notice Math Around You

Cassie, 2 years and 3 months old, is at her local playground. Math is all around her, whether she notices it or not.


By Eric Dearing and Sara Schnitzer

Key Points:

  • Any book with pictures can be a counting book.
  • There are easy ways to build children’s counting knowledge while reading together.
  • See how real families use picture books to support their children’s counting skills.

“How many elephants are on this page? Let’s count them! What number is this? Let’s trace it with our fingers!”

Picture books offer many opportunities for young children to practice counting, a key early math skill. They are also really fun to read!

Read and Build Counting Skills

Any book with illustrations or numbers can be a counting book. Reading both written numbers…


This guest blog by Amy Tanner, professor of mathematics education at Brigham Young University and founder of The Kids’ Quadrant website, suggests ways to engage all children in early math learning.

Key Points:

  • There are ways to make math engagement meaningful and positive for all children.
  • Math is full of opportunities for creativity and storytelling.
  • Showing interest in children’s thinking supports their early math development.

My two children are very different and have been from the moment they were born. They have different food preferences, different fears, and different ways of showing affection. They also have very different interests: One…


By Jenny Yun-Chen Chan, Michèle Mazzocco, and Megan Onesti

Key Points:

  • Math is “hiding” in many everyday family activities (we offer tips for finding it).
  • Parents and caregivers support their children’s math development when they notice and talk about math in their daily routines.
  • Deepen children’s math thinking by expanding comments and asking questions.

There are many opportunities in daily life to encourage young children to think mathematically. These early math learning opportunities can be informal and playful additions to family routines. …


By Christina Mulcahy, Julia Ratchford, Crystal Day-Hess, and Douglas H. Clements

Key Points:

  • Don’t Burn Your Feet is a playful way for children to learn about shapes while also moving their bodies.
  • Building knowledge around shape concepts involves more than just knowing the names of familiar shapes.
  • This game can be adapted so children can practice and develop their shape knowledge.

How to Play

Don’t Burn Your Feet will get your child jumping around — inside or out — while exploring shape concepts. You can download the instructions and ideas for making this activity easier or harder here or at the end of…

DREME Network

A network of scholars in early math education, conducting research & developing materials to promote young children’s math learning. https://dreme.stanford.edu

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