There are so many things that we need to teach our children, manners, letters, numbers, morals, social skills, traditions, confidence, emotions, reading and writing. It can be overwhelming to try and teach everything to our child. We believe that children learn best through play and by having fun. When things are engaging and exciting, even the most reluctant of learners will be drawn in. Here are some ways that you can teacher your child numbers and counting by incorporating them into everyday activities and routines…
- When walking up or down stairs, count each step. Eventually your child will begin counting them with you and repeating what you say.
- Line up toys, stuffed animals, cars, balls, dolls, etc and count how many there are. Point to each toy and say what number it is out loud. Have your child practice pointing to each item as you count them.
- Have your child count the food that is on their plate or tell you how many of something they would like to eat. “You want some strawberries? How many would you like?” Then count them with them as you put them on their plate.
- When in the grocery store point out the different numbers at each aisle and at the checkout. While waiting in line you can count how many check outs there are or how many items you have purchased.
- Buy books with numbers in them. Point to each number and tell your child what it is. Count items in picture books to see how many there are. Ex. How many ladybugs are on this page? Let’s count 1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4 lady bugs!”
- Watch shows about numbers. Leapfrog has some excellent educational videos. Don’t just let your child sit and watch it by themselves. Watch it with them and say the names of the different numbers as they come up and count along with the show. This will encourage them to be active viewers and gain something from the content unlike passive viewers. This is a great way for very visual children to learn, however some parents may not agree with screen time. This will depend on your own beliefs.
Remember that your child is capable of learning at any age. Make it fun, part of daily routine and talk about numbers as often as possible. Making it relevant to their life will make it more exciting for them and help them learn that much faster. The more they hear about the numbers, the more likely they are to remember them and be able to count on their own. It won’t happen overnight so do not give up on your child. Keep encouraging them and with time it will come.
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