A friend is concerned that her daughter may already be getting the wrong message about math and gender in kindergarten. This is not as far-fetched as it seems, according to this article.
She is planning to start a math club of sorts for her daughter and her friends.
My advice to her: do whatever math you think is fun to do with those kids — mental arithmetic, geometric puzzles, non-competitive versions of the game Set (e.g. making “one-difference trains”), seeing what happens to drawings when a mirror is placed on them, the game of buzz (which must be known under many names), making designs with pattern blocks… But avoid any math that you yourself do not think is fun, as that would undermine the whole project.
3 thoughts on “Little girls and math”
My very subjective experience is that my friends who are not in mathematics fields report that their daughters dismiss math as unimportant from a young age. Parents can influence their children unintentionally. Your advice to do things that you think are fun matches what I've read about influencing children–it's not so much what you show them, it's what you show them that you enjoy.
I like your advice. There's also Blink, and Polydrons, and making money for the 3-fingered people on the planet Triplay. And…
I've had trouble finding polydrons, but a good alternative is Jovo, which I link to on my Space page. What's Blink?