Mother with little girl playing with math activity

Math is Everywhere! Use These Everyday Activities to Develop Early Math Skills

Mother with little girl playing with math activity

Math is one of the most important skills for children to acquire. In fact, research suggests that early math skills are even more important than early reading or early social skills. Early math abilities begin at infancy and start in the home. Children as young as seven months possess fundamental “numerical” abilities. Describing to your baby that she has two eyes, one nose, and ten tiny fingers helps her develop math skills. 

Early math abilities can also predict subsequent academic success. Even more, many of today’s jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) require math. However, in the United States, by 4th grade, only 42% of students have basic math skills. Let’s increase math literacy by encouraging our little ones to find math in everyday activities! 

Here are a few tools and resources to help develop early math proficiency with your child:

MiniMath + Bedtime Math Apps

MiniMath app graphic

The MiniMath app for iPhone/iPad or Android, available in both English and Spanish, is a great way to help you and your preschooler get ready for kindergarten.

Based on the popular Bedtime Math app for elementary school kids that’s proven to improve math skills, MiniMath is designed for families with kids ages four to five years old. Choose Food, Animals and Vehicles, or explore other math problems on all kinds of kid-friendly topics. With three different types of questions (“Look,” “Do,” and “Think”), you’ll get a fun new activity every day.

With MiniMath, you’ll help your preschooler learn about the world, and get ready for the math they’ll learn in school.

Bedtime Math App graphic

The Bedtime Math app for iPhone/iPad or Android, available in both English and Spanish, is a great way for families with kids ages three to nine years old to have fun with math together. Click for the daily math problem, a surprise problem, or any math problem in the archive, which you can browse to find your favorite topics.

Findings from a University of Chicago study shows that Bedtime Math, already proven to boost kids’ math performance, has effects that last for years.

Khan Academy Kids

Khan Academy Kids Graphic with animal characters
Khan Academy Kids is a huge database of activities that address learning themes from Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Common Core standards. The content includes activities in math, ELA, executive function, social-emotional learning, and creative expression, for children ages two to eight. Parents can create multiple user accounts with name, avatar, and age. 

The app is available for iPhone and iPad, Google Play and Amazon Fire. Although the app is only available in English, they do offer parent guides to use the app in multiple languages, including Spanish.

Other Math Resources

Sesame Street in Communities

Sesame Street Math video graphic

Math is everywhere—it’s in the numbers, shapes, and patterns all around us. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, or on the go, making math part of kids’ everyday lives lets them know it’s fun…and important.

Sesame Street in Communities has activities, including games and videos, to help children see and use math every day: Developing Math Skills - Sesame Street in Communities

PBS + Family Math Kids


Early math skills are the key to a brighter future for your child. PBS SoCal's Family Math program offers trusted tools and resources that help families with children ages two to five discover the joy of math in everyday experiences.

Find math learning videos here: Grow Your Child’s Mathematics Skills with Fun...- PBS Kids

NAFSCE: Family Math

Mother and child playing math activity

Family Math is an emerging movement to promote math activities within the context of family relationships and everyday life, from the grocery store to the playground, during breakfast, bath time or bedtime. The movement empowers parents, organizations, and early educators with knowledge, tools, and resources that help them feel excited about introducing and exploring mathematical concepts. 

Find Family Math resources for parents here: Parent Toolbox


MathTalk creates unique opportunities for young children and their families, particularly those in economically distressed communities, to discover and enjoy math anywhere. Research shows that when parents and young children take time to explore, enjoy, and talk about math together, it sets the stage for positive early math experiences and helps young children view themselves as capable math learners.

Zeno: Math Powered

Zeno creates conditions for positive math moments between and among providers, children, and parenting adults because math is identity. Beyond curriculum and math competencies Zeno changes hearts and minds so that children of all ages see themselves as doers and lovers of math.