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By the age of 3, toddlers counting numbers verbally while playing is possible, but only if you initiate these concepts from an early age. It helps in building their logical and reasoning skills and opens up many new learning avenues for them.
How many times have you heard someone confessing how scared he was with numbers and mathematics as a child, and even as an adult? Numbers phobia is a common concept where one feels uncomfortable when dealing with numbers. But it can be avoided if you encourage your children to make friends with numbers right from an early age. Here are the milestones that can be achieved by toddlers at 3 years of age, as well as the methods you can use to make number sequencing fun for your child.
Importance of Number Sequencing for Toddlers: Milestones and Useful Tips
1. Developmental Milestone in 3-year-old’s
- Identification of the numbers ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’ and sometimes even ‘four’
- Counting up to number five
- Counting the number of items up to five items
- Understanding the concepts of ‘many’ and ‘same’ when making comparisons
- Understanding the terms ‘first’ and ‘last’
- Some toddlers may be able to recognise numbers from 0 to 9 too
2. Making Progress through Number Operations
To teach numbers to your toddler, introduce the concepts of verbal addition and subtraction. Playing with toys or items as part of a daily routine can also help him understand these concepts. Use visual tools like images, which kids find more appealing and easier to learn from. Show your child pictures showing different sizes and different numbers of objects. Trading smaller items for bigger ones is a milestone he’ll reach in the later stages of his third year.
3. How to Teach Number Sequencing to Toddlers
Before you begin, here are some tips that you can use to make the learning process a fun experience for your child:
- Play number-matching games, using cards on which are written numbers or using figures of numbers.
- Play a picture game in which your toddler draws shapes corresponding to the number you write on a board or a piece of paper.
- Another sequencing number activity for toddlers is the number hop, where your toddler hops from number to number drawn on the floor.
- You can also organise a mini hunting expedition for a specific number of objects in the house like ‘two books’ or ‘five spoons’.
- Encourage him and join him in counting his books, clothing in the laundry, and the number of fruits in a bowl.
4. Moving Ahead
Once your toddler is more confident counting numbers verbally, he may even initiate these counting games on his own. At this stage, you can rest assured that the process has been internalised and numbers are becoming fun for him to learn! This is the right time to introduce him to newer concepts like bigger numbers, predecessors and successors of numbers.