Use things around the house that they already know and love! : My son has a HUGE adoration for his Thomas Trains... he can tell you every single trains name, number and color. When we started working on recognizing numbers and colors, I tried to use posters, games, workbooks, etc that would help him learn to recognize them... all to no avail! One day, we were playing with his trains, and HE asked me what number one of the trains was. Bells went off in my head and I realized that I could cater his natural curiosity about his beloved trains, and still be 'teaching' him to recognize numbers at the same time!
While the newer method does require computer access for every child, most schools now have that capability. As children do more hands-on learning on computers and less in books, these programs are capable of reaching them on a level they can understand.
The parent's role in their child's math development is very important and should start as young as possible. Teaching young children how to count, add and subtract numbers in their head without pencil and paper can stimulate the brain to think mathematically. Parent s can start the process by teaching children how to count from one to one hundred. Teaching children how to mentally figure out math problems should also be part of this process.
Another recommendation for parents is to not allow children to utilize calculators at an early age. Children need to first develop their brains to be able to do mathematical computations on their own. Constantly using calculators at a young age can stunt the mathematical growth of children. If children develop math skills by mentally thinking of the answer to simple problems, they will be better prepared for everyday life, such as grocery shopping, balancing a checkbook, to name a few.