5.13.2008

Math Flash Cards for Babies and Children

I'll just come out with it and say that, frankly, I think my baby is a genius. His spit bubbles are form advanced geometric patterns and his jibberish is the most eloquent I've ever heard. Regardless of his intellect, my wife and I have noticed how intently he absorbs his environment, how his eyes trace over new objects and how quickly he seems to grasp new concepts and situations, as simple as they may seem to adults.

He's a sharp kid and I know that it takes extra effort to keep a child like that from getting bored and restless. I wish to foster his natural abilities, so I started looking around for brain-centric activities for babies. In my search I came across Child Genius Magazine online from the International Parenting Association. While digging through their site I found exactly what I was looking for: flash cards for babies.

I downloaded and printed the math diamond flash cards for my son, as I think developing mathematical inclinations at an early age is particularly important. Kids are surrounded by speech constantly and urged to talk as soon as possible, but math tends to be of secondary importance. The cards consist simply of a quantity of diamonds on a page and are flipped through as the parent says the corresponding numeral. They help the child understand the concept of numbers before they learn the numeral or words associated with them.

When I first opened the PDF, I was reminded of Rick Moranis' character in the movie Parenthood, who had his two year old daughter selecting which messy page full of dots was the square root of some arbitrary number. I am against pushing a child to 'achieve' at an early age, as was the case in the movie, but I hoped this would be an activity in which he demonstrated his own interest. I was genuinely surprised by his level of intrigue.

With each card I held up, both my wife and I clearly noticed his little eyes scanning the contents of the otherwise empty pages. I only did numbers one through ten, (the cards go up to 50) but he was clearly acknowledging the shapes on the page. Even more, he would look to the stack of remaining cards to see which card was next as soon as I set down the previous. While that may not seem significant, I think it's a great step towards developing his cognitive abilities.

Will it make him a numerical genius? Who knows. Will it keep his mind active in his formative years? I certainly hope so.

To check out the math flash cards, as well as word and phonogram cards, check out the Early Learning Library section of the Child Genius Magazine page.

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