Before her first birthday, my husband made it his mission to teach G that she was going to be "one." She learned to stick her finger up to indicate how old she is. I don't think she ever understood what one means (as in a mathematical representation of how many of something you have), but he has since moved on to teaching her that she will be "two" on her next birthday.
I've had the math teacher bug since flying back from our house hunting trip. The girl in front of us was working on math homework, with her dad attempting to help her. I could see that the copied chapter pages were from the book I taught out of...and it was a fun section about simple metric measurement conversions (related to decimals). I had to restrain myself from jumping at the chance to teach her. It definitely made me miss the classroom. It's spawned a lot of other career driven thoughts, but that will all come later...because for now, the best thing for our family is for me to keep being the best SAHM I can be. And I love that. Don't get me wrong, though, I want a career eventually. I am too motivated and too much of a hard worker to not have it all. So to speak.
These two things ran together last night when I decided that G need to understand, in her own 18 month old way, that one and two are related, and represent a count of something. I know that it's a bit advanced for her age, but she is a stinkin' genius, after all, so why not try?
After dinner, we sat on the kitchen floor comparing two oranges with one banana. She loved it...especially because we were playing with fruit.
I started with putting two oranges on the floor, and asking her to hand "two" to daddy. She did it. The question is, if I had originally asked her to hand "one" would she have left one behind? Doubtful, but we're practicing. We put two oranges in her Mega Blocks dump truck, we took one out--subtraction! We put one orange on the floor, added another one, and got two! We got down one banana and asked her to hand that to us. She tried to eat it, peel and all, before handing it over. We also talked about having one nose, two hands, two feet, etc...all
while saying one foot, two feet...etc (so as to understand two comes
after one). Honestly, I think the biggest restraint in this math lesson is our current struggle with sharing and stubborn toddler ways.
I think that by the end of the play time lesson she is closer to understanding that one and two mean something, aside from just the answer to "how old are you?" but she's definitely not ready to move on to three yet! We all had a ton of fun though :-)