Math Literacy Ideas for Kids with Special Needs

by Oct 23, 2013School/Education, Special Needs Parenting0 comments

Math literacy is a crucial element of school readiness for kids with special needs. Here are several fun ideas to increase your child's math literacy.

Math literacy is a crucial part of school readiness for kids with special needs, though it’s not nearly as well-known as its popular older sibling, reading literacy. But an article in Chicago Parent addresses the topic. The article is written by Ellen Metrick. Her last name is not the reason she’s qualified to write an article about math literacy. She’s qualified because she’s a member of Special Parent’s advisory board in Chicago.

6 Math Literacy Ideas

Metrick first recommends parents “sprinkle lessons in magnitude, numbers, distance, shapes, weights, volume, patterns, and relationships into a day of fun.” The she offers six fun ways for encouraging math literacy in our kids with special needs:

#1 Breakfast of Shapes

Make toast squares and pancake circles. Cut the toast into triangles. Then talk about fractions, too.

#2 Puzzle Play

Puzzles encourage math concepts that involve spatial skills such as rotating and translating shapes and recognizing patterns.

#3 Lunch with Weight and Volume

Capitalize on kids’ fascination with scales (the original article provides a link to a kid-friendly scale) by allowing him to weigh their sandwiches. Let them drink from a measuring cup to measure how big a gulp is.

#4 Add a Dimension

Use 3D puzzles and games to improve spatial relationships. Again, the original article contains numerous links to 3D games, puzzles, and products.

#5 Dinner Is about Counting

Counting real things is more effective than reciting numbers in order. So have your child count the plates at the table, how many times they chew, and how many peas in a spoonful.

#6 Take a Number to Bed

NumbersAlive! creates plush number characters your child can take to bed. The link to the company and more ideas about how to use them can be found in the Chicago Parent article.

To access all the wonderful resources and more fun ideas, visit Fun Ways to Teach Math Literacy to Kids with Special Needs.

How Do You Encourage Math Literacy?

What have you done to familiarize your child with numbers and math concepts? Leave your fun ideas in the comment box.

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By Jolene

Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly with Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon. The first book in her cozy mystery series, See Jane Run!, features people with disabilities.


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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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