Tarafa said parents can play a role in introducing the important concepts into daily activities. For example:
1. When packing for a trip, ask the child to bring three or four shirts and five pairs of pants, because number recognition — rather than counting on fingers — is critical.
2. Never use the term “take away” and instead say “subtract.”
3. Together, read nonfiction books about the child’s interest, such as sharks, cooking, outer space or dinosaurs.
4. At the store and online, always compare prices.
5. Pay with cash and discuss important coin combinations, such as how four quarters make a dollar.
6. Bake brownies, using your measuring cup and sticks of butter as tools to teach fractions.
7. Let them open a savings account and see how interest compounds.