Counting Numbers: Useful Tips To Keep In Mind

Counting numbers is an important early math skill that you should inculcate in your child.

Here are some tips you should keep in mind while teaching counting numbers to your young child. 

1. Teach Cardinal Numbers Before Ordinal Numbers
Cardinal Numbers represent Quantity
Ordinal Numbers represent Position

Start with teaching the cardinal numbers which denote quantity (one, two, three etc.), as opposed to an ordinal number which denotes position (first, second, third etc.). Ordinal numbers should be taught only to older kids. Teaching both might confuse your young one.

Read more about Cardinal Numbers

Read more about Ordinal Numbers

2. Age Appropriateness

Research indicates that a 2 years old child cannot learn beyond 3. They may say the words like four, five and six, if taught by you, without understanding what they actually mean. It is therefore important for a parent to understand what the child’s capability is at his age and then start teaching counting number. Else, you might end up trying to teach number 10 to a 2-year-old!

Read more about counting milestones

3. Use Fingers to Count

Using fingers to count is the most natural way of counting that human species have used for thousands of years. The numerals used (1, 2, 3 etc.) are a more recent invention. At a later stage, you can always help the child understand that 2 fingers and the symbol 2 are the same thing.

4. Teach Numbers Using Same Objects

Research indicates that it is easier for a young child to learn to count numbers when reinforced using the same objects (like two eyes, three apples etc.). Do not confuse the young child by trying to teach numbers using different objects. As the child becomes older, he/she will begin to naturally understand that quantity is also applicable to different objects.

5. Reinforce counting numbers in your daily interactions

Parents very often make the mistake of introducing a concept and not following up on it. Children tend to forget concepts if they are not adequately reinforced. Reinforcing numbers, again and again, is essential for your child to learn quickly.

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