Today we all know that benefits of math are considerable. Math is not a subject one learns by reading the problems and solutions. American children have very little practice with multi-step problems, and very few opportunities to think their way in to and through problems that dont look like all the others. With a packed curriculum and the increased emphasis on testing, our children are taught tons of procedures - but procedures disconnected from when to use them, and why. Sustained thinking - the key ingredient to math success - is painfully absent in too many math classes.
Math concepts can also be reinforced for the children throughout the day on a regular basis. Try placing an enlarged number 12 above the 12 on the clock and label it "lunch time". Label your clock with as many of these types of labels that you can. This will help the children to recognize the way the clock looks when it is on the hour. Make sure to point out the clock when it is time for lunch by saying, "Look at the clock, it is time for lunch. See the little hand is on the 12". You can also incorporate math through songs. If you are learning about monkeys, make it a point to sing, "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". The same concept can also be used when you are reading books to preschoolers. There are plenty of books that incorporate counting into their story and will follow the theme you are teaching. Math is a concept that children will have to use for the rest of their lives and that will be continuously taught in school. By starting off their education with fun math activities, you can get them started with math the right way.