When my son was a baby, my mother shared how she taught us all to count. There were four of us and we all really knew how to truly count by age three. I was a bit skeptical but I tried it with my son then and ten years later I’m doing the same with my daughter with similar successful results.
What my mother instructed me to do appealed to me because it seemed stress free; no cramming it in all of a sudden at age five and getting frustrated because they don’t get it. It’s like learning on the sly. This is what you do:
Every day, show you baby a bowl of the same thing, like small blocks. It must be small enough to hold in his little hand when the time comes but not so small that it’s a chocking hazard. Once your baby is grasping things, ask him to give you one from the bowl. It won’t happen right away. It will feel like forever. He may hand you a bunch at once.
Around two years old, he will hand you one. Then start asking for two, three, etc., and start the process again, but you will see it will be faster now. Even though at this age your child can recite one, two, three, four, this is really counting.
Keep this ritual up, and within a few months months, he will start handing you 2, then 3, then 4 when asked for. Every time you ask for a number greater than what he knows he will give a handful.
I have experienced it twice now and not just with my kids, but by 3 years old, something clicks and he suddenly is able to hand over the correct amount when asked for any set of numbers.
Reinforce counting in daily activities for success. For tips, click here.
Math Curriculum and Math Games by Smart Tutor
Article by Nuria Almeida
Photo By Alyssa Nagle