How I Taught My Toddlers Math (Ages 2-5)


Math is something that my husband and I are pretty focused on. My goals were to achieve the following:

  • Before Age 3: Count to 100, know shapes and colors including harder shapes like rhombus, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, isosceles triangle, obtuse triangle, scalene triangle, light pink, dark pink, magenta, turquoise, etc.
  • Age 3: Do simple addition and subtraction up to 10
  • Age 4: Do the same for double digits
  • Age 5: Know your multiplication table and division facts, know your number line into negative numbers territory.
  • Age 6: Double digit to triple digit multiplication, division, and adding and subtracting division finding common denominators. On top of that, they also do measuring, shapes, word problems, simple algebra, etc.

I don’t want to scare anyone and it sounds so crazy tiger momish that most of you will probably roll your eyes at me again. HOWEVER, we don’t sit our butts down for hours a day either! The trick to doing all this is just daily exposure (I can do another long post about each step later). We actually don’t do more than 20-30 minutes a day on math. Go figure! I take a three part approach to all math learning.

  1. Manipulatives to build concepts
  2. Reinforcement through review using flashcards or other daily activities
  3. Curriculum and Solidification through workbooks (after they can read and write)

This article isn’t to share all the details of “how” I taught math but simply to introduce what resources I used since a member in our Motherly Notes Facebook Group had requested it.


I love manipulatives because kids love them. I use all sorts and kinds of counters! One of our all time favorite are the bear counters from Learning Resources (Amazon link): 


They clink and clank and make all sorts of sounds when you play with them and the kids are like crazy over them and they love scattering them (I know it’s insane) and they love counting them, scooping them and then stir frying them in their kitchen pans when they were younger. I can only say, these were the best investment in my opinion thus far because we’ve used them so much…

I also have the rest of the Learning Resources counters only because I love using them so much for all purposes. Math and imaginative play go together usually and I use these for everything. These little counters can talk, can sing, can dance in their little brains and we make up stories with these:

Learning Resources Critters (Amazon Link)


Learning Resources All AboLut Me Family Counters (Amazon Link)


Learning Resources Ocean Counters (Amazon Link)


I also have ones for trains and cars and so forth. You can search for them here in this LINK. 

Another one I have to mention are these! Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes (Amazon Link) I love love love love these cubes because they snap together and the quality is superb. These snap together really tightly but they come off easily too. You can do different math problems with these as I’ve shown in the video above and you can also build stuff with it, make sticks and fight with them or use them as play food if you wanted. They are slightly rubbery to the touch so they feel GREAT!



Learning Resources Math Tiles (Amazon link)

I use these for counting, sorting, patterning, and also multiplication and division. We also used these for doing zhuyin! See the zhuyin post here! How My Children Started Reading Chinese and English Before 3 Years Old



Trend Enterprises Flash Cards


I love this set of flashcards by Carson Delosa Company but now they’ve become Trend Enterprises. The reason I love these are stated in the video but mainly:

  1. They have only one problem on each card.
  2. They have only the problem in the front.
  3. They have the SAME problem in the back but with answer.

I really dislike the ones that put different problems front and back. There are a lot of those. these don’t do that so I love these. Here are the links to where I bought them off Amazon:


Trend Enterprises Math Wheel

These math wheels are just another way for kids to use their hands while doing the same thing: flash cards. The kids like turning them though:



They have :


Math Wrap Ups (Amazon Link)


I bought the basic kit from amazon but there are many many many other kinds! They even have ones for state capitals or whatever. I only bought the basic set: Math Intro Set

There is also the number bond cards that I introduced in the video:

Learning Resources Write and Wipe Family Fact Card


I love these because I make the kids write the facts themselves before so that they know all the different ways the numbers interact with each other. Just another thing to jot their memory.


Everything needs a curriculum and although I don’t follow everything exactly, I used it for a solid guidance when the kids were younger. I knew for a fact that they could understand the concepts without writing anything down! However, I needed to know that I’m covering all the right basis and the timing to introduce concepts. I use Singapore Math as my curriculum guide and they didn’t start writing in the books until age four. This is after they played with manipulatives already and know how to add single digits. What I wanted to train was really word problems and for them to think about numbers differently. For singapore math, the ONE BOOK YOU HAVE TO BUY IS the challenging word problems book!!!!! 


There are many many many different types of singapore math workbooks out there. Use the original company. I have provided an amazon link to the books but they also have a site themselves. Here’s the Amazon Link: Singapore Math Primary Mathematics.


As I’ve mentioned in the video, there are a million types of books under this family and since I bought them all, I’ve noticed I really only needed 3 maybe 4. I needed the: textbook, workbook, challenging word problems, and if you like multiple choice like my kids, then get the “tests” book. Otherwise, the first three is enough.


I’ve done a video on them below so you can see why I like the Challenging Word Problems!!!


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