Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Playtime: In/Out

Math Component Routine
• Geometry
Operations and Algebra
• Indoor play

 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: Bin with pictures books 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: Sit down with the infant in your lap. Pull out a bin of books with pictures and photos that interest young infants. As you take a book OUT of the bin, say, “(Your name) takes the book OUT of the bin.” Open the book and point to pictures in the book, naming one or two items on the page.  When you finish reading say “the end.”  Put the book back IN the bin, say, “(Your name) puts the book IN the bin.” 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: Toy bin or basket Blocks 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: Sit down with the infant, either in your lap to support her in sitting up or across from the infant who sits independently.   Bring a bin of blocks in front of the infant. Help the infant take the blocks OUT of the bin. As the infant takes a block out say, “(Child’s name) take the block OUT!” Or just “Block OUT!” Encourage the infant to take lots of blocks out of the bin – clap and celebrate each block she takes out. Build together with the blocks – exploring math concepts such as BIG/LITTLE, ON/OFF, and counting as you play. After you have had fun building and knocking down the blocks together, put the blocks IN the bin together. Show the infant how to put a block in the bin as you say, “Put IN” each time. Then, encourage the infant to put blocks in, saying, “(Child’s name) puts the block IN” each time. Remember to clap, high-five, or celebrate each time he drops a block in the bin. Some infants may just enjoy dumping the blocks out and putting the blocks back in – over and over. This is a wonderful opportunity for the infant to hear you say “IN” and “OUT” many times during this play interaction. 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: Toy bin or basket Blocks 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: Sit down across from the infant with a bin of blocks.  Encourage the infant to take the blocks OUT of the bin. As the infant takes a block out say, “(Child’s name) take the block OUT!” Or just “Block OUT!” Encourage the infant to take lots of blocks out of the bin – clap and celebrate each block he takes OUT. Infants this age may enjoy dumping the whole bin out at one time. Enjoy the fun crash sound that the dumping made as you say, “Blocks OUT! (Child’s name) dumped all the blocks OUT!” Build together with the blocks. Take turns putting blocks on top of one another and counting each block as you build higher and higher. After you have had fun building and knocking down the blocks together, put the blocks IN the bin together. Show the infant how to put a block in the bin as you say, “Put IN” each time. Then, encourage the infant to put blocks in, saying, “(Child’s name) puts the block IN” each time. Remember to clap, high-five, or celebrate each time he drops a block in the bin.  Some infants may just enjoy dumping the blocks out and putting the blocks back in – over and over. This is a wonderful opportunity for the infant to hear you say “IN” and “OUT” many times during this play interaction. Reflections on this Lesson How might you teach the math lesson  - IN-OUT during other daily activities and routines? What books do you have in your child care setting that include the math concept – IN- OUT? What songs or finger plays do you typically use in your child care setting support the math concept – IN-OUT?

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