The 3 Techniques To Start Teaching Numbers

Learning to count is one of the first academic lessons to teach a child when entering pre-k along with learning colors. As a mom who likes to prepare my little one for pre-k I decided to research what are the right steps and activities to teach a toddler to count at home.

Toddlers start counting (reciting numbers) to 5 between 24-36 Months. By age 3 your child should be able to (recite by memory) count to 10, and recognize the difference between having 1 item or two.

When it comes to numbers, there are three strategies I used to teach my child.

  • Reciting Strategy
  • Counting Strategy
  • Recognizing Strategy

Counting or Reciting? what is the difference

Reciting means they can say the numbers by memory at loud, and counting means they can correlate one item with one number at a time. `

Reciting Strategy

For learning to count, I stared from numbers 1-5. I started this at age 1. I used a lot of nursery rhymes on YouTube that worked on counting. This allowed counting and reciting to be worked on simultaneously.

You might be interested in the list of our favorite songs to teach counting

Counting Strategy

Counting required a bit more attention. Therefore I focused on the numbers 1-5 only to start. I grabbed 5 toys of the same kind, and place them at the table in a row one at a time. I started with one and build up all the way until five. I used 5 different toys for each number.

You can go to the dollar store at the party section and purchase those party bag fillers. These are great for this activity!

Teaching one on one correspondence is the best way to understand this concept and will make your little learner learn to count faster.

What is one on one correspondence?

One-to-one correspondence is an early math concept. This developmental skill involves counting each object as you touch one touch object at a time.

Counting wooden pegs using one on one correspondence

For example, you place 5 wooden peg dolls in front of you, and as you place each peg doll you says the number name at loud for each one , “One, two, three, four…”

This exercise we want to model at first, and repeat often to teach the concept. Before you know it, your child will be modeling this ability and get a head start by learning to count.

Modeling is the most important part of introducing numbers to your child, and don’t get discouraged if he does not immediately pick up on the task. Simply continue to model regularly, and your child will eventually begin to learn and demonstrate understanding.

Recognizing Strategy

Teaching to recognize numbers is all about exposure and repetition. I used sensory bins, number puzzles and books.

Learn how to set up this sensory bin for teaching numbers here>>

But what really advanced us into recognizing them was the interactive worksheets found on this book.

The learning binder brings all the concepts together, visually and manipulative.  Your child can count one on one, can recite the numbers as he counts the monsters and can manipulate the numbers and monsters to match them as being exposed the numbers.

Repetition is key! So make sure you play with numbers often.

teaching numbers

FAQ about teaching Numbers

Understanding toddler milestones is important to set the right expectations when teaching a child to count.

Let’s review a few of the most common questions to understand when can toddlers start counting.

Can most 2 year olds count to 10?

Kids will start out as “pre-counters” saying numbers in no particular order. For example, they may say “One, twoten” when counting. This is typical of a twoyearold child. … This is also typical of a three-to-four-yearold child

My son is 2.4 months and he can recite to #17 but counting, understanding he has 10 items in his hand he cannot yet do. This means he is on track for his age.

What number should a 3 year old count to?

Most 3-year-olds can count to three and know the names of some of the numbers up to ten.

When can a child count to 5?

By the end of the third year (3 years), most children would be comfortable counting up to 5 objects. Few can count accurately up to 10 objects.

  • I played a lot of songs that practice reciting to 10.
  • I did lots of one on one correspondence exercises. (I’ll teach you how)

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