100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith

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100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith

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Buy 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Fabulous advice on incorporating numeracy within parenting. Teach maths without teaching maths! This book blends science and strategy well and never loses its sense of fun.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: September 2021
Publisher: Matador
ISBN: 978-1800464490

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Babies seem to be born with an amazing number sense: understanding shapes in the womb, being aware of quantities at seven hours old, assessing probability at six months old, and comprehending addition and subtraction at nine months old.

Did you know this? I didn't! How about:

Maths ability on entry to school is a strong predictor of later achievement, double that of literacy skills.

I didn't know this either! I think most parents are aware that giving your children a good start in literacy - reading stories, teaching pen grips, singing rhymes - gives children a solid foundation when they start school. But do we think the same way about maths, beyond counting? I don't think we do, in part because so many of us are afraid of maths. But why are we? Most of us use maths in daily life without realising and it follows that giving our children a similar pre-school grounding will be just as beneficial.

Enter Emma Smith and 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths. The book consists of 17 chapters covering the first one hundred days of a baby's life each covering an aspect of maths, the science behind it and child development, together with suggestions for easy and fun activities to encourage affinity with numeracy.

Blending technical and academic detail with an engaging narrative accessible for lay readers - lay to maths, not lay to parenting! - is a tricky enterprise and 100 Days succeeds completely on this fundamental requirement for a book of this kind. The overall feel is one of positivity and encouragement and the vast majority of the content is about activities and ways of parenting that are easy to achieve for readers on all budgets and in all family situations. There are a few suggestions which would require readers to go an extra mile - sign language classes, for example - but they're presented as optional extras rather than necessities. The approach is imaginative but also tied to everyday life, making the holistic integration of a maths-friendly parenting style something natural rather than forced. 

I particularly liked the mnemonic NUMBERTALK, the section on the five step counting process, the emphasis on positive affirmation and the suggestion about food fractions. I wish someone had suggested food fractions to me five years before I found myself sitting on the living room floor cutting up pieces of A4 paper as my oldest son suffered through primary fractions!

100 Days is best suited to parents planning a family but not yet expecting or parents-to-be who are already expecting. You will need a reasonable amount of time investment and the book does need to be read from beginning to end before attempting to begin implementation. The addition of punchy chapter summaries with main points and activities will make it easy to refer back to when baby arrives so that it isn't an additional chore during the intensity of those first hundred days, but rather something that is both fun and useful.

Recommended. Even if you are scared of maths!

Parents of older children could look at This is Not a Maths Book by Anna Weltman which helps children with mathematical concepts through art.

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Buy 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith at Amazon.com.

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