As a mother and early childhood educator I was surprised to learn the importance of preschool math. During my years as a preschool teacher I focused on literacy, and rarely gave math the attention it deserved. As a doctoral student my research led me to discover how crucial a strong foundation in math is for young children's future success. Inspired by a strong belief in play, the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, and the use of everyday items, I began to playfully teach my own preschool-aged children.
My playful invitiations to learn math eventually extended beyond our home to our backyard and nearby park. During our time outdoors I realized I could showcase the beauty of real, natural materials and how inspiring, meaningful, and relatively easy they are to acquire. Overall, I hope to share ways adults can intentionally teach preschool math using these beautiful natural materials.