I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but I have a two-year old son. We are starting to learn the numbers. These are some of the fun ways we came up with:
Learning the numbers:
One of the first things we started working on is learning the numbers in order by:
- Singing: there are plenty of songs about numbers out there. You can do a search in YouTube and find out which one your toddler likes the best.
- Repetition: Somehow my son finds it amusing when I count out loud. During our walks, I count from 1 to 10 in German, Spanish and English continuously. It keeps him entertained. He likes to repeat the numbers that sound funny to him like 5 in German (ffffffffffffffffunffff).
Along with memorizing the list of numbers, we started recognizing the numbers by:
- Exploring our home: There are lots of numbers on any household. Whenever I see one, I tell him: Look that’s a five. See how funny it looks with the big tummy? Or Here, your shoe is a size 22, they look like two little ducks.
- Walking on the street: There are lots of numbers on the street. When we walk around the shops or neighbourhood, we say at loud the numbers we see. He doesn’t recognize all the numbers yet. But he recognizes some of them (2, 5, 9). He gets excited when he spots them.
- Pre -writing activities: I write some big numbers on a piece of paper and ask them to retrace them with buttons or stickers. Sometimes I draw them on the floor with chalk and ask him to “walk” the number.
- Xylophone: We were gifted a xylophone for his birthday. We love to explore sounds. Every wooden bar has a number on it. We say random numbers and we have to strike them with the mallets. My idea is start with sequences to make songs, for example, 1 – 2 – 3 -1 1 – 2 – 3 – 1 (Brother John).
One of the things he picked up early on was counting. He loves listening to us counting small objects or food (cookies, apple slices, peanuts) and he imitates us (half of what he says is intelligible, but he nails the intonation). Other way you can practice counting is playing hide and seek.
The value of numbers
I don’t think he is ready for this one yet but perhaps your child is. It’s very important to understand the value of numbers. It helps later with arithmetic. One way to practice this is with dot stickers. Write some numbers on paper, ask your kid how many stickers they are worth. So, 4 equals four stickers. Busytoddler.com explains it in more detail here.
Let me know if you try any of these.
Best of luck!