Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Mealtime: Stop/Go

Math Component Routine
• Geometry
• Operations and Algebra
• Mealtime

Snapshot of Development: 0 to 6 Months

Play:

Infants begin by using their eyes to explore toys and then begin to use their hands and mouths to explore. Their play is primarily shaking, banging and mouthing. At the end of this stage, they begin to look for dropped toys and may find a partially hidden object.

Communication:

Young infants recognize their parents and familiar caregivers. They smile and laugh during playful interactions, such as peek-a-boo. They make early cooing and babbling sounds.

Motor:

When on their tummies, infants learn to hold their head up and reach for toys. They begin to reach and grasp for objects, beginning with the care-givers clothes and hair and then moving to toys and objects. At the end of this stage, many infants may help hold their own bottle and help bring the bottle to their mouths. They may also begin to take pureed food from a spoon.

Materials:

Bottle
Spoon
Bowl with pureed food

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Mealtime Use the words “GO” and “STOP” as you prepare food or bottles and as you feed the young infant. Gently say, “GO” when you start to warm the bottle and then “STOP” when you pull it out of the warmer. Gently say, “GO” when you begin feeding the child and “STOP” when you STOP to burp or finish feeding. Engage the infant while you stir food. Offer the infant a spoon to hold. Say, “Let’s stir the sweet potatoes. GO!” Begin stirring. Count to ten while you stir. Then say, “STOP!” Make the stirring seem like really hard work and sigh and act tired when you STOP stirring. Then, repeat. Infants will love the playfulness of the STOP and GO stirring.

Snapshot of Development: 6 to 12 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, play is mostly shaking, banging, and mouthing toys. By the end of this stage, infants begin to combine objects that go together in play. They reach for and hold two objects and may begin to reach for a third. Many infants will look for dropped toys and find partially and completely hidden toys. Many infants enjoy taking things out and putting things into containers.

Communication:

At this age, infants respond when their name is called. They may turn their head, make eye contact and sometimes smile and vocalize. They may look for family members and pets when called by name. They may respond to simple requests made with gestures, such as, “Come here,” and they may understand “No” or “Stop.” They may lift their arms to be picked up, clap hands, and wave bye-bye. They love to shout and squeal and may be babbling with many different sounds. They may be participating in and sometimes initiating peek-a-boo.

Motor:

During this stage, many infants begin to sit by themselves and play. They begin to move by rolling, crawling, and cruising. They pick up toys by using a raking motion with their whole hand and by the end of this stage they are using their fingers and thumbs to pick up small objects. They may feed themselves small bits of food.

Materials:

Bowl with warm mashed food
Spoon

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Mealtime Preparing meals offers lots of opportunities to teach the concept STOP and GO. And, it keeps little ones engaged while you work to get meals ready.  Try these playful interactions as you prepare meals: Practice blowing to cool warm food. Say, “The food is hot. Let’s blow to cool it down. GO!” Then start blowing. “STOP!” Then pull back from the bowl and STOP blowing. Repeat playfully with the infant until the food is cool. Engage the infant while you stir food. Offer the infant a spoon to hold. Say, “Let’s stir the sweet potatoes. GO!” Begin stirring. Count to ten while you stir. Then say, “STOP!” Make the stirring seem like really hard work and sigh and act tired when you STOP stirring. Then, repeat. Infants will love the playfulness of the STOP and GO stirring.  Holding a spoon and later pretending to stir in a bowl gives the infant the opportunity to actively participate as they learn STOP and GO.

Snapshot of Development: 12 to 18 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are imitating the use of everyday objects, such as cups and spoons. This moves into early pretend play where the infant may feed you, or pretend to drink from a cup or eat off of an empty spoon. They also are great imitators and may enjoy imitating daily activities. They may enjoy putting multiple objects in containers and systematically searching for hidden toys and objects. Many infants will pat pictures in books and sometimes vocalize while looking at books.

Communication:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants begin to respond to one step directions, such as, “Give me the ball.” They may need gestures to help them understand the direction. At the end of this stage, many infants follow a related two-step direction without the help of gestures, such as, “Get the ball and give it to Daddy.” They may be pointing to ask for wants and needs and to ask you to name objects. At around 12 months of age, many infants say 1-3 words on their own and by the end of this stage may say up to 15 or more words. Many infants play turn-taking games at this stage.

Motor:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are crawling and cruising to get around, and by the end of this stage, infants are walking with good balance. They may also enjoy walking while carrying large objects and pulling toys. When given a crayon for the first time, they may mouth the crayon or mark the paper. By the end of this stage, many infants are scribbling on paper. They may be starting to scoop food with a spoon and actually get some to their mouths. Infants may also be using a straw or open cup to drink.

Materials:

Bowl
Spoon
Warm food or pretend food

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Mealtime Preparing meals offers lots of opportunities to teach the concept STOP and GO. And, it keeps busy tots engaged while you work to get meals ready. Try these playful interactions as you prepare meals: Practice blowing to cool warm food. Say, “The food is hot. Let’s blow to cool it down. GO!” Hold the food so that both you and the infant can safely blow on it. Then start blowing, really puff out your cheeks and blow hard. Say, “STOP!” Then pull back from the bowl and STOP blowing. Repeat playfully with the infant until the food is cool. Count the number of times you blow together. If you are too busy preparing meals to hold the food out safely for the infant, then give the infant a bowl with pretend food. Have him “help” you cool this food down as you say, “GO!” and “STOP!” Stir food together using “GO” and “STOP”. Offer the infant a spoon to hold and a bowl with some real or pretend food. Say, “Let’s stir the sweet potatoes. GO!” Begin stirring. Count to ten while you stir. Then say, “STOP!” Make the stirring seem like really hard work and sigh and act tired when you STOP stirring. Then, repeat. Infants will love the playfulness of the STOP and GO stirring! Stirring real or pretend food gives infants the opportunity to actively participate as they learn STOP and GO.

Reflections on this Lesson

How might you teach the math lesson  - STOP and GO  - during other daily activities and routines?

What books do you have in your child care setting that include the math concept – STOP and GO?

What songs or finger plays do you typically use in your child care setting support the math concept – STOP and GO?

Comment on this lesson

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