Make Connections: parent-child math for ages 0–5, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation (2014–2020)

Make Connections, a collaboration of the YMCA of Silicon Valley and TERC, gives adults and their young children a way explore math together. The full-year, interdisciplinary math program includes activities, projects, and games for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to do with their parents and caregivers, using everyday materials (e.g., toilet paper tubes, markers, cereal boxes).

We developed Make Connections in partnership with several YMCA Early Learning Readiness programs, which simultaneously engage children and their parents and children in informal learning experiences. Make Connections is available in English and Spanish. The program is now used at YMCAs throughout the nation and is available for free downloading.

Early Learning Readiness Math from Math Videos on Vimeo

Download Make Connections

Project staff

Marlene Kliman, Valerie Martin, Audrey Martínez-Gudapakkam, Nuria Jaumot-Pascual


Kliman, M. Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Math: The Nana y Yo y las Matemáticas Project. Hands On! (Summer, 2015)

Kliman, M. Make Connections, Hands On! Spring 2021. (accepted)

I also work in the afterschool program. I have Kindergarten kids there who can’t do what the kids using Make Connections can do, and they are older. …. The kids using Make Connections are going to be more than ready for Kindergarten.” 

– Early Learning Readiness staff