At around 18 months old, children will start to learn about numbers and counting. They will learn to count from 1 to 10 through repetition or with the help of toys such as a Number Puzzle, but they won’t know what the numbers mean. When they turn 2 years old, they will start to associate numbers with counting.
The best way to promote this skill is to introduce counting and numbers in daily life situations. Consistency is key, which means you should do this every day, and be patient. If you want to teach your kids to count without too much effort, these 5 actives will help you do that!
- Counting Snacks
Snacks are something your children have every day, so you can easily turn them into a daily counting activity. Snacks such as pretzels, grapes, gummy bears, fish crackers, etc., are very easy to count. So, when you give your children these snacks, ask them to count how many there are out loud and do it with them. This will help them understand numbers and counting very easily.
- Counting Toys
Playing with toys is another activity children engage with every single day, so it’s not difficult to turn it into a counting activity. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing with LEGOs, building blocks, dolls, balls, stuffed animals, etc., they will be able to count them. You can even ask them to separate the toys into color categories and count how many blue, red, yellow, etc., toys they have.
- Counting Steps or Jumps
Children are always walking or jumping around the house so you can encourage them to count while they’re doing these things. For example, if there are stairs in your home, encourage your children to count each step every time they use their stairs and make it fun. If you have a trampoline at home or you allow your children to safely jump on the couch because they enjoy it, you can encourage them to count their jumps.
- Counting Things While Out on a Walk
When you’re taking a walk outside, you can take the opportunity to encourage your children to count trees, clouds, or other things in nature. They can even count cars passing by or houses on the street. It will be fun and it will also help them increase their vocabulary. You can also encourage them to identify colors and shapes.
- Counting Stickers
What child doesn’t love stickers? You can purchase number stickers or stickers of any kind, such as these animal stickers, and encourage your children to count them as they place them on a piece of paper. If you’re using animal stickers or any other kind of fun stickers, you can also encourage them to draw backgrounds for the stickers so they can practice their fine motor skills and make the activity a lot more fun and engaging.
As you can see, there are many opportunities in daily life to practice numbers and counting, so it won’t be difficult to help children master the basics!