Teaching children how to count
Kids under 3 may be able to rattle off a few numbers, but they don’t necessarily have a sense of what those words mean. Now your child is getting the idea of counting numbers in sequence and may even be starting to understand that these numbers correspond to a quantity. This is a giant cognitive leap! You can reinforce beginning math in many everyday ways (no flash cards necessary).
Ask most 3-year-olds how old they are and they’ll proudly raise the correct number of fingers. Your child is starting to realize that those fingers he’s holding up correspond to a number that has actual meaning. Don’t be surprised if “three” is his favorite number — and the answer to every “How many?” question —for a while!
Most 3-year-olds can count to three and know the names of some of the numbers up to ten. Your child is also starting to recognize numbers from one to nine. He’ll be quick to point it out if he receives fewer cookies than his playmate.
Although your child may only be able to count one or two blocks or trucks now, by the end of this year he’ll be counting up to four or five. Counting without seeing what’s being counted (2 + 2 = 4) is harder still, usually not accomplished until closer to kindergarten.
The best way to build math skills is to incorporate counting and sorting into your day. Count the number of squirrels you see as you walk or the red cars you pass on the road. Let your child touch objects as he counts.
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