Counting Made Fun

Counting is one of the first concepts of mathematics in a child’s life. Giving preschoolers a solid foundation in early math literacy is critical to their future academic success, not to mention how important it is to their day-to-day functioning. But counting can be memorized by children, just like how children often reciting the alphabet by singing the ABCs song (without really understanding letter shapes and sounds). Here are a few ideas to help your child really learn their numbers without rote memorization.

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Go outside for a walk. Count each step you and your child take. Take turns saying the next number. This will introduce the concept of skip counting.
  • Three-year-olds—When your child is ready, try counting cars on your walk by twos (i.e., 2, 4, 6, 7, etc.). You can also ask your child to count food items like cereal or fruit pieces starting from a number other than one, such as 10 or 15.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Use a calendar to count the days of the month using ordinal numbers (i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). Then, play a board game together. When your child moves a game piece, have him or her count each space moved using words in between (i.e., one space, two spaces, three spaces, etc.).

Skills Supported: counting, skip counting, ordinal numbers