I just threw a baby shower for a friend yesterday and it is always a guessing game to estimate how many cards to get for the games, how many petifors, etc. Then there are games where we estimate how many jellybeans there are in a jar, how much toilet paper it would take to wrap around the pregnant woman’s belly, etc.
There are plenty of practical ways we use our estimation skills to problem solve. And that is exactly what we want to start instilling in our kids…problem solving skills.
So in order to work with your child on the beginning concepts of estimating, it is important to understand that until the age of 7 or so children have a hard time developing spatial skills. This means that they might count out objects, place them into a jar, and then estimate a different number because the number may look greater or less than the number they just counted, depending on how it is arranged. So understand that the activity we are talking about today is more of a READINESS activity than a formal lesson.
Remember that estimation is just the very best guess we can make based on our evidence.
Here is the activity: