In first grade math, children are introduced to basic ideas they’ll need later when they dive into more difficult math. They’ll start learning how numbers work, shapes and patterns, and the language of math (such as “less than,” “more than,” “addition,” and “subtraction”).

Here are four easy games you can do with your first grader at home.

### Say and sing counting

When you’re waiting for the bus or standing in line at the store, have your child practice counting. See how quickly he can count to 50. By the end of the school year, first graders should be able to count up to 100. So help your child reach this goal. A fun way is to teach your child to count 100, backwards! (The song 99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall is a fun way to practice counting backwards.)

### Figure out the pattern

This simple game helps your child understand how patterns work. All you need is a pen and paper. Start by drawing a simple pattern – maybe something that uses shapes, such as:

•• ♦♦ •• ♦♦ ••

Next, it’s your child’s turn to start a pattern. Then you continue your child’s pattern.
When it’s your turn next, make it a little more difficult by making a three-part pattern, like:

♦•♦ •♦• ♦•♦ •♦•