The number system can be fun if introduced in the right way. Kids encounter various concepts of maths since infancy, like the comparison of quantities and recognition of patterns. You can start teaching the concept of numbers to kids from age 1 and above. Caretakers can motivate them by introducing numbers in a fun and simple way like relating numbers with their daily activities. For example, give some chocolates to a toddler and ask her to count them after you. She will eventually learn how to count. However, kids will know the real meaning of numbers when they reach about 5 years of age.
Here Are Some Tips to Teach Numbers to Kids
1. Introduce number rhymes to count
‘One, two, buckle my shoe’, ‘Ten little monkeys jumping on the bed’, ‘One little, two little, three little Indians’, are some of the number rhymes or songs you can begin with to teach your child numbers in an interesting way. Hold up your fingers so that the child can understand that a particular number relates to so many fingers, sing along with it, and let her sing with you. This will make the rhyme more enjoyable.
2. Incorporate numbers into daily activities
Use numbers in everyday life, such as encouraging your child to count the numbers of birds flying in the sky. You can give her some peas or a few slices of carrots and ask her to count them. This builds a strong relation to numbers.
3. Write the numbers
Write down a number on a piece of paper and ask your child to draw the same number of something like apples, flowers, or ice cream. For example, write 2 and ask her to draw two flowers, or you can do the opposite by drawing two ice creams and asking her to count and tell you the number. Give your child an easy wipe board to write the number and wipe it.
4. Find numbers on boards, puzzles, and dice
You can point to numbers on dice and ask your child to name it. Games like ludo and snakes and ladders can help with number recognition. You can even buy a colourful abacus and play with your child. This is a great option for counting.
5. Play a number game
There is a nice game called ‘Uncle’s House’, where you write 1 to 10 on paper and ask your child to jump from number to number and return to uncle’s house. There are many puzzle and games you can buy for introducing numbers.
6. Use flashcards
Make simple flashcards with paper, a pencil, and crayons. Make coloured dots with crayons. Give it to your child in a random way and ask her to arrange the cards in the correct sequence.
7. Practice locomotor skills along with counting
You can write 1 to 10 with chalk on the ground and ask your child to jump, skip or hop to a specific number.
8. Exposure to nature
Last but not least, take your child to a park, zoo or outside the house and ask her how many animals or fish she can see. When kids are exposed to nature, they learn quickly.
Children learn quickly and can easily grasp concepts. Introducing numbers to preschoolers in an interesting way will make them understand numbers quickly. Children tend to memorise words and numbers. However, they will slowly begin to understand what the numbers mean when we link them to familiar contexts. Kids are unique and learn at their own pace. Give them time to learn and encourage them!
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