Understanding numbers is an important skill that kindergartners need to master. Children encounter and observe various concepts of mathematics since infancy, such as quantity comparison and pattern recognition. Once children reach preschool age, you can start teaching them numbers in a fun and interactive way.
Teaching numbers to children is simple. Parents can motivate them to relate numbers with activities they perform on a daily basis. However, they will only begin to truly comprehend the meaning of numbers until they are around five years old.
When to Teach Numbers to a Child?
It is a great idea to start introducing numbers to your child after she turns one. You can start with number rhymes, like ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’, ‘Ten Green Bottles,’ or 1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a fish alive’. You can also point out simple objects or things they encounter in their daily lives, such as one apple, two dogs, three chocolates, and so on. You can make learning numbers playful and enjoyable for your child.
How to Teach Numbers to Preschoolers
Here are some tips that will help you teach numbers to preschoolers:
1. Teach Counting with Number Rhymes
Using rhymes and songs is a fun way of learning numbers for kindergartners. You can use number songs and rhymes like ‘10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’, ‘This Old Man – He played One’, ‘The Ants Are Marching One by One Hurrah,’ etc. to teach kids about numbers in an immensely enjoyable manner. Show the numbers on your fingers as you sing together with your child so that the child knows that a particular number relates to that many fingers.
2. Incorporate Numbers into Daily Tasks
Use numbers in daily tasks that your child does with you. For example, ask your child to help set the table and place one fork or two spoons with each plate. You could also get her to count peas or apples, thus connecting numbers with quantities. Another idea is that you can encourage her to count her toys as they help you put them away after playing.
3. Play Number Games with a Group of Kids
Kids learn better when they are playing with each other. You can encourage some healthy competition in the group to motivate them, too. Get them to sit in a circle and take turns counting numbers.
4. Write Down Numbers and Make the Child Draw that Quantity
Write down numbers in a drawing book and have your child draw something that denotes that quantity. For example, write 3 and ask her to draw three flowers. For 4, you could ask the child to draw four ice cream cones. You can also do the opposite of this by drawing several quantities of an object and asking your child to count them and tell you the number.
5. Point Out Numbers on Ad Boards and Vehicles
When you go out with your child, you can point out numbers on ad boards or vehicles and thus help her recognise the numbers by sight. This will be helpful later on when your child begins writing numbers.
6. Teach the Order of Numbers with Connect the Dots
This game teaches kids the order of numbers. Use a chalkboard to form a shape with numbered dots. Next, help your child connect the dots to draw that shape. For example, you could use 8 dots to make an octagon shape and help your child draw an octagon. You can also buy connect-the-dots books, which have numerous drawings outlined by numbered dots. These dots need to be connected sequentially to draw the shape. Once the shape is drawn, let your child colour the shape to make the game more fun.
7. Count Fingers and Toes
Counting fingers and toes is a great way to introduce pre-schoolers to numbers. You could make them count the fingers on each hand and ask them to compare the number of fingers on each hand. You can also ask them how many big toes they have or how many little fingers they have.
8. Make and Use Flash Cards
Make flash cards with numbers zero to nine and use these to play various number games with your child. For example, you could place the numbers in a random order and help your child arrange them in the correct sequence.
Children are quick learners, and they can grasp concepts with ease. Introducing numbers to kindergartners in a fun way will help them understand numbers easily. Pre-schoolers tend to memorise numbers. However, they will gradually begin to understand what the numbers mean when you relate the quantity of everyday objects to the numbers. Each child is unique and learns at her own pace. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid comparing the learning abilities of different children.
Also Read: How to Teach English to Kids