Mathematics helps young children make sense of the world around them and understand their physical world. Children are inclined to make comparisons, notice similarities and differences in objects and group their toys and materials. The ability to organize information into categories, quantify data and solve problems helps children to learn about time, space and numbers.
When children play in the sandbox, cook applesauce and complete a puzzle, they are engaging in activities that allow them to develop the thinking skills that are naturally used in daily life. Children learn the uses of mathematics to describe and explore relationships among objects and materials in the environment. They increasingly develop the vocabulary and skills to measure, describe patterns and to express order and position.