We have a current maths obsession in our house. Cosmo has always loved numbers, even as a small baby, but recently I discovered a website called Dadsworksheets.com, which has the most ridiculous amount of practice papers for maths as free printables.
Cosmo has fallen in love with the 1 minute Math Facts section and completed over twenty of these in one sitting. Still unsure of the concept of a test though, he handed me a paper to mark declaring proudly 'there are two mistakes on this one'.
'Well if you know that already, why don't you correct them before I mark it?'
'No Mummy! You have to try and guess which ones they are!'
Still, once I pointed out that getting 100% would earn him a gold star sticker, we had perfect score sheets every time.
I also found a little app for Lychee's maths skills, which I think I may be too late with, but I'm going to try anyway. It works on the same principles that I teach reading with, that by flashing the cards quickly to a child under two years they learn to associate the image (word) with the sound and it's unconsciously learned.
This app claims that babies don't count. They just know how many are there (to a certain degree), but haven't learned to associate that number with a name or symbol. The app flashes up randomly placed red dots on a white background and tells you how many there are. The lessons start with numbers 1-5. They then build up in difficulty. In one minute a day, the developer tells us, you train your baby to recognise numbers without counting. This makes them faster processors of information over all as adults (because really, if the only benefit was not having to count stuff, it's probably not worth bothering with - just count).
I'm not sure it will work, but for one minute a day I'm willing to give it a go.