Last week we talked about counting and one-to-one correspondence. Children need to work with objects that they can touch and label as they count. It is important to note that children may need weeks and weeks of practice in counting.
1. Play with anything that can be counted
If I add two blocks to this tower, how many will you have?
If we add two more toys to this pile, how many will you have?
How many times can you brush your hair?
How many shoes are at the front door?
How many steps to the elevator?
How many trees do you see outside our window?
Are there more stones here or there?
2. Play games to reinforce counting
Busy Toddler shares this fun game, Lay out playing cards from 1 to 10 and use buttons to match the numbers for each card.
*Allow lots of time for counting both the shapes on the card as well as the buttons
3. Use videos to engage learners
For something different – a book where YOU count the things you want to count!
Because children at this age have short attention spans, we cannot work on any of these activities for very long. Little and often is the name of the game!
But by doing it on a daily basis the children usually slowly understand the concepts.
4. Introduce adding and subtracting
When you are ready to build on their knowledge of counting, you may want to begin to introduce adding and subtracting.
Use lots of concrete items to introduce this – small toys or stuffed animals
Make it more interesting with small pieces of snack or cereal.
“If you have one goldfish cracker and I give you another, how many do you have?"
5. Music adds to our ability to remember
Listen to the story of the Five little ducks.
The song is easy to learn and fun to sing. You may want to hold the correct number of fingers up as you sing!
Look around your home and find items to count. Remember to incorporate counting into daily activities such as shopping, going on walks, and bedtime routines!