It's no secret that we love In N Out in our family. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this West Coast chain, it's probably the freshest fast food you can get, and it's often very crowded. You order at the counter, and they call your number when your food is ready. J's favorite thing has been to ask, "How many more till our number is called?"
You can do this quick and easy game to pass time at any restaurant where they shout out sequential numbers. At In N Out, the numbers go from 1-99.
John and I don't like to answer, but we turn the tables on J (age 4.5) and make him figure it out. It's hard for a four year old to mentally subtract the smaller number (what was called) from the bigger number (what we have), for example: they called 33 and we were 40; 40-33 = 7, and so we had 7 orders till ours. Instead, we've taught him to count up using his fingers starting with the next number, as in our example above: 33 was called and we want to get to 40, so he finger counts starting with 34 as 1 on his hand, 35 is 2, and so on. He'd stop at 40, which would be 7 fingers he placed up. He's starting to catch on that 30 is 10 away from 40, and he can do the 2-3 numbers away in his head. He loves having the right answer, and it excites me when he's excited about learning (especially math).
However, we only can have the math game when he wants it or else we get, "Mommy, [deep sigh] I don't want to do math right now."
**We've been heavy on the math recently mainly because it requires little-to-no prep work and mess for this pregnant mama. Math and science go hand-in-hand. I encourage you to make both math and science everyday topics of discussions in your household.