Parents, take note: Math activities can improve your pre-schooler's vocabulary

If you wish to improve your child’s vocabulary, engage them in math activities at home.

Researchers have found that pre-school children who engage in math activities with their parents not only improve their math skills but also enhance their general vocabulary.

“Exposure to basic numbers and math concepts at home were predictive, even more so than storybook reading or other literacy-rich interactions, of improving pre-school children’s general vocabulary,” said the lead author of the study Amy Napoli, a doctoral student at Purdue University in the US. The study evaluated 116 pre-school children of ages between three to five.

If you wish to improve your child’s vocabulary, engage them in math activities at home. (Shutterstock)

The researchers assessed the children’s math and language skills and examined what their parents reported about math and literacy activities at home and predicted children’s improvement over time.

Parents reported the frequency of parent-child literacy (code-related practices and storybook reading) and numeracy practices. The results indicated that although code-related literacy practices and storybook reading were not broadly predictive of children’s literacy and numeracy outcomes, the home numeracy environment was predictive of numeracy and definitional vocabulary outcomes.

These findings demonstrate a relation between the home numeracy environment and children’s language development and contribute to the growing body of research indicating the important relations between early numeracy and language development, the researcher said.

The purpose of the study, published online in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, was to investigate the relations of the home literacy and numeracy environments to children’s literacy and numeracy outcomes both within and across domains.

The researchers also explained that there are number of ways parents can encourage math learning at home, such as talking about counting, connecting numbers to quantities and comparing values.

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