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  • Marie Coppola, a UConn KIDS researcher, tests children at the Bousfield Psychology Building.

Child Development Blog

Parent-child math activities lead to development of child's vocabulary skills

It seems intuitive that reading to a child will improve their literacy skills, but can engaging in math activities also impact vocabulary learning? The connections between home literacy activities, such as storybook reading, and language skills are well studied; however, relationships between cross-domain skills, such as numeracy and literacy skills, are not as understood. In a recent study at Purdue University, Human Development and Family Studies researcher, Dr. David Purpura, more closely examined home numeracy environment and child outcomes. 114 children were tested for literacy and numeracy skills in the fall and spring of their preschool year, and their parents were surveyed on how often they engaged in numeracy activities with their child. The various parent-child math exercises included counting objects, identifying written numbers, and using the terms ‘‘more” and ‘‘less.” Researchers found numeracy activities not only aided in the development of math skills, but also positively impacted vocabulary skills. This finding shows the ability of the home setting to prepare children for more formal learning in the future. The link could be due to the conversation that takes place when children are first exposed to math concepts. By incorporating more numbers and quantities in everyday interactions with children, crucial development can take place across math and literacy domains.


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