From a very early age, children are naturally interested in exploring size, shapes, and quantities. Preschoolers begin to count, sort materials by different characteristics, and recognize shapes. These early math abilities prepare them for understanding more advanced mathematical concepts when they enter elementary school.

Early childhood professionals can support children's early mathematical development by providing materials and experiences that invite children to naturally sort, match, compare, count, and describe quantity, and by supporting these experiences with rich "math talk."

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