Want your child to start learning to recognising numbers? Well, it can be as easy as 1, 2, 3 with these top tips.
Numbers are all around us, and there’s no denying they are a vital part of our everyday lives. So how do we teach our young children to recognise them?
Why should I teach my child to recognise numbers?
Knowing numbers is possibly one of the most important skills in early educational development, and your child will likely come across numbers on a daily basis! Think about all the places that a young child may come into contact with numbers… birthday cards, page numbers in books, the number on your front door, telephone numbers, bus numbers, on the TV remote, on a gaming console… and that just scratches the surface! Numbers are literally everywhere.
An early interest in numbers will set your child in great stead to become a curious and confident mathematician!
How do I teach my child to recognise numbers?
The good news is, there are some really simple techniques to support your child to develop great number recognition and awareness. Here are some of my top tips:
*Point out numbers in the environment – As I mentioned previously, numbers are simply everywhere. When you spot a number, mention it to your child. For example, if you see a street sign containing numbers then give it meaning for your child, such as ‘oh look, there’s the number 10. That number tells people they cannot go faster than 10mph’. You could also point out the individual numbers, for example by adding ‘when the 1 and the 0 are next to each other, they make 10’.
*Play with numbers – There are plenty of family games out there that use numbers within them, such as snakes and ladders where you need to read the number and count that number of moves (there’s just something about a dice that young children love!), or Uno where matching numbers and colours are a huge part of the game. Practice makes perfect, so working through lots of family board games will give you child a fun way to begin to recognise numbers.
*Use your child’s interests – If your child loves pirates, then bury some golden numbers in their sandpit. If they love cars, build a car track full of numbered car parking spaces and street signs. If they love teddies, make all their teddies some special birthday badges with numbers on them. Whatever their interests, there is a way to fit numbers in!
*Use songs – Singing number songs help children to understand the meaning of numbers, such as their order and the quantity they represent. Some great ones are ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive’, and 5 little ducks’, and there are some super ways to add props to these, including adding a song glove… although there are always the good old fingers there to count too!
*Have a focus number – Each week, provide your child with lots of opportunities to experience a different number. For example, if you wanted to teach the number 3, you could start by talking about what the number looks like, and reinforce this by talking about things you spot that represent 3, such as the corners on something triangle shaped, 3 dots on a dice, or 3 sandwiches. Challenge them to spot the number 3 in their world around them, or hide some post it notes around the house with 3 on for them to find (like a treasure hunt). Once they have got that number, then move on to another.
*Get creative – Instead of just writing numbers, get a little artistic! Use paints or finger paints, glue and glitter or coloured sand, stampers, coloured pens, or even a stick in the mud – whatever gets your child interested.