I love math. I love numbers and logic and everything that makes rational, analytical sense. I know lots of people don’t like math, but it’s important to me that my kids learn to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the mathematical world (almost as important as it is that they learn to love books and reading).
However, I also recognize that there needs to be some sort of epiphany before mathematical laws which are self-evident to an adult become apparent to a child. Understanding numbers and counting can be hard for young children. It’s not immediately obvious to a child that 12 should come after 11 or that 12 means 10 and then 2 more.
Sometimes there exists some sort of mental block that makes a child say, “I can count to 126.” My own son is at the point that he knows 189 comes after 188, but he doesn’t know what comes after 988. That’s just too big of a number for him to even begin to comprehend.
These are some of the material and activities I’ve used to help kids make connections on their own. These activities allow them to understand how numbers are formed and gain experience working with numbers and counting in ways that are fun.
Here are some other resources and ideas I recommend for helping kids learn to count:
- The book 1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker was one of my kids favorite resources for learning to count to 100. My kids love seeing what all those crazy peas are doing.Play hopscotch and write numbers in the boxes.
- Play hide-and-seek and count to 20. Even if you count with them or just count loudly when it is your turn to seek, the repetition will have them counting to 20 in no time.
- When you push a child on a swing, count the number of swings.
- My kids enjoyed Elmo’s Big Lift and Look Book. There are pages on a variety of subjects, but one double spread helps kid learn to count and recognize numbers to 10.
Click here for more Math activities for kids.