Developmentally Appropriate Practices for the Young Child

07 May, 2009

The authors of this book believe that it is especially important for all teachers of preschool and young children to use Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP*). The activities in our upcoming activity book presented at the Preschool level (PK) are meant to provide teachers with ideas about math concepts, about which young children can develop, familiarity. Teachers must however be constantly aware of each child’s maturation level. Concepts and activities should be carefully matched with each child’s cognitive, emotional, and social levels of readiness.

Mathematics should be an enjoyable endeavor for the child. Activities can be presented in different ways. The activities could be set up in a center for children to explore. They can be presented one-on–one or in a small group. We would prefer most learning occur in natural settings by adapting concepts to real-life experiences in which the child is engaged. No matter how the children are investigating the concepts, it is up to the teacher to ask thought provoking questions so the child will make connections between the manipulative and the math being learned.

A strict didactic approach is not necessary for the young child to learn these math concepts. Providing fun, hands-on activities and connecting the conceptual learning to real-life situations will be the most appropriate for this age child.

  • For more information about DAP, visit the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (
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