Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learning to Count

Math education starts the day your baby is born. You have many opportunities to help your child excel at math. One of the easiest things to teach your child is how to count. Here are some ideas.

Songs: "10 Little Indians"
"The Ants Go Marching One by One"
"This Old Man"
"Five Little Ducks"
"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"

Things to do with your child:

When you're changing the babies diaper, count his toes. Tickle or wiggle each one as you count them.

Each time you go up or down stairs, count them. (My oldest son quickly learned to count to 14 when he was two, because there were 14 stairs in our house.)

Once your child is old enough to walk, have him help you set the table. Count each thing as you put it on the table. Say, "There are three people in our family. So, we need 1, 2, 3 plates. How many cups do you think we need? We need 1, 2, 3 cups." Eventually, your child will answer that question with the right answer.

Any opportunity you have for counting, do so. When you're grocery shopping, turn it into a counting game. Count each item you put into the grocery cart.

Sometimes, you can turn snack time into counting time. Occasionally, give your child one bite at a time, counting them as you go. (You don't want to do this all the time. Sometimes, your child needs to just feed himself.;)

You get the idea. You can find lots of opportunities to count with your child. When you do this, they will slowly pick up the concept of counting without needing formal instruction.

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