Teaching numbers to children is simple. However, in order to make it easier for them, parents must assist them in learning and understanding numbers in a fun and interactive manner. It is crucial that children enjoy learning numbers since it provides them an advantage in math. If you want children to become more competent in mathematics, teaching them to count as well as to understand numbers early on is essential.
What age should a child start learning numbers?
Most 2-year-olds are able to count from 1 to 10. Having said that, you must know that they are simply repeating them from memory and do not quite fully understand what each number means. This is known as “rote” counting. It means that the child can remember and recite numbers in a correct sequence. Rote counting happens when the child keeps hearing the numbers being said out loud around them on a regular basis. The more they hear them, the more confident they become while reciting numbers.
It is vital you understand that every child is unique. If your 2-year-old is unable to count to 10, it is nothing to worry about. Although this is an average age at which a child begins learning to count, it is by no means a strict rule.
Tips to teach children numbers
Are you ready to introduce and teach your kids numbers? Great, let’s begin!
Sing number rhymes
Rhymes and kid songs are one of the simplest ways to teach numbers. Some well-known number rhymes are –
- 10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
- One Two Buckle My Shoe
- Three Blind Mice
You may either show them videos of these rhymes or, when singing to them, use your fingers so your child can associate the number with as many fingers you hold up. Visual references make these rhymes and songs more memorable for children.
Note: Simply search “number songs” or “number rhymes” on YouTube and you will find a list of fun videos to help your child learn numbers.
Counting fingers and toes
Counting fingers and toes is the easiest way to help your kid learn numbers at home. You can begin by counting your child’s fingers of one hand, then the other and ask them to repeat it. The same goes with toes. Once they get the hang of it, you can ask them how many small fingers they have or how many big toes they have.
If they get the order wrong or forget a number, then correct them and guide them through. It’s okay for them to make mistake because this is just the beginning.
It’s no surprise kids love to play with toys so why not teach numbers through them? Number toys provides an opportunity to see, touch and learn how the number looks like. There are different types of number toys available in the market and you can choose the ones most suited for your child.
- Number cubes – Each cube has a specific number written on it. You can arrange the cubes in the correct order and then ask your child to do the same.
- Find & match number eggs – The eggs can be split in half – one half has the number on it and the other has the shape of that number so when you put the two halves of the same numbered egg together it becomes a whole. This is helpful for developing recognition skills.
- Number balls – Gather balls with numbers written on it. Say a number out loud and ask your child to throw or kick the ball having that number.
- Race cars with numbers – Cars with numbers carved on the top are fun to play with. Kids can rearrange the cars in the correct order or you can ask them to start a race, say, between car no. 2 and car no. 5 and they will need to recognise the number.
- Dice – Get a dice having different numbers on each side. Give your child some time to read all the numbers on the dice and then ask them to show you the number 3 or number 8, etc. You can also ask your child to roll the dice and let them recognise the number on which the dice stopped.
Read number books
There are many amazing books available to teach children numbers. Bright and colourful books are a good way to grab kids’ attention. Number books are not only for learning numbers but it also boosts literacy. A good example of this is the book “Goodnight, Numbers” by Danica McKellar.
Printables are a good learning tool and the best part is you can find printables for everything. There are printables available for writing numbers, number order, etc. free of cost.
Connect the dots is very useful for understanding the correct order of numbers. You can either print connect-the-dot printables or you if you are creative, you can make one yourself at home for your child. Once they have connected all the dots correctly, let them colour the picture. For beginners, keep the pictures easy, like star, square, etc. You can make complex pictures when their counting ability grows.
Make flashcards with numbers from 0 to 9 or 1 to 10 written on it. You can also include objects for each number like for the number 3, you can add three oranges or three flowers on its flashcard. You can arrange the flashcards in an incorrect order and ask your child to rearrange them in a correct sequence. You can also simply ask them to lift the card with number 4 or number 9 written on it.
Numbers in daily tasks
Numbers are everywhere. There are plenty of objects available at home through which you can teach numbers and counting to your child. For instance, while sorting out the grocery, you can ask your child to hand you the apples and you can count them aloud for them to hear. If your child is almost familiar with the numbers then you can ask them to count how many apples are there in the bag. This helps them learn to connect numbers with quantities.
Art of learning numbers
This is an interesting activity to do when you feel that your child understands what each number means. You need to draw objects on a board – ask your child to count them – let them try writing that number on board. You can do this activity in reverse by writing the number on the board and asking your child to draw.
Cleaning by numbers
Kids are messy. If your house looks somewhat similar to a toy store then it would be nice to introduce the clean-up numbering game. Ask your child to put away two or more toys and while doing that, count them out loud. Next time, you can ask them to count the toys categorically before putting them away, for instance, count all the balls before putting them away or count all the crayons before putting them in the box, etc.
Teaching kids’ numbers is fun and at the same time it’s also quite challenging. But as exhausting as it seems at times, bear in mind that learning and understanding numbers is just as crucial as studying and comprehending letters. Thus, it is important that you remain calm while helping your child learn numbers. Some children understand numbers better and quicker than others while some require a considerable amount of time before they start recognising numbers. Sometimes, even 5-year-olds face difficulty in identifying numbers on a daily basis. No matter what the scenario is, you should not worry about it. Keep supporting your child, encourage them and help them improve their skills through fun activities.