Children naturally love counting and doing puzzles, but for some reason, when you call it "math", all of the interest flies out the window! So how can you cater to this natural love of 'math' and keep it fun and interesting enough to keep children's interest?!
Sort it out! The sky is the limit when it comes to finding things to sort! Candy, beans, cotton balls, paper clips... you name it! You can even change around how you want it sorted... one time, sort by color, the next time sort by size or shape! My son had a BLAST when I pulled his Matchbox cars to the school table and we sorted them by color! For younger children, you can make it easier by having 'color cards' and have them match the specific objects to the correct card. Older children can just be told to sort out the items by color, shape, etc.
Learning centers provide many opportunities for integrated learning. While playing in an imaginary grocery store, children learn math through the use of numbers and prices, literacy by recognize familiar labels on foods and develop social skills through role play as the shopper, cashier or manager and develop their physical skills by learning how to arrange cans and groceries in make-up shelves.
Elementary math is the building block on more complex topics that students must learn for the future. From simple addition and subtraction to telling time, it is a fundamental knowledge base used throughout life. Computers are also a basic fundamental building block for the future. Math programs integrate both.