Are you prepared to teach your baby how to count and remember numbers? If so, these simple tips can help you get started. Some can be used with kids of all ages, while others are only for certain ages.
It’s easy to make and looks cool. You need some construction paper or cardstock, some pictures (mine are carrots), and a pair of scissors to make your counting cards. Set your child down and show him the number one. Say, “That’s one.” One carrot. What is the number of carrots? Tell your child to say “One” after you. Then you should say, “Good! One!”
Don’t worry if your child stops paying attention after only one card. One number at a time is all you can teach, so you’re off to a good start. Little kids, especially boys, can’t pay attention for very long. Please don’t push it. I’d do the same thing again the next day, and if he sits longer, I will move on to number 2.
If your child can sit still through number three, you can stop there. Before adding more cards, make sure he can count up to three pictures on the cards. Ask, “Where is it?” He should be able to show you the card with number one on it. Where do they both go? He should be able to give two examples. Repeat for number three.
When he can tell which card goes with which number, you can move on to the next step. Continue teaching him this way until he can count the pictures independently. He will learn to sit longer each time, especially if you make it fun.
Puzzles are great. I bought it at a dollar store. Sit down with your child and play with the puzzle to teach him something. Tell him what each number he is putting back is called. Tell him to say the numbers again. Play with the numbers by giving them funny voices and talking to your child through them. (Deep voice) Hi, I’m six! I have a large stomach. What are you called? He’ll love it if you act silly.
Counting Bears and Chips
I’m pretty sure I got these at Walmart. They are a fun way for your kid to learn how to count. You can use anything you find around the house. Just put them next to your child to help him count them. Start with a small amount and increase it as he gets better.
These were for sale at a yard sale. I like to give them all funny voices and use them to tell my child the name of the number and a little bit about it. Then, I will present them to my kid and request that he identify a few numbers.
Fun flashcards always have numbers on one side and pictures on the other. I like to sit my child down, show him the number and tell him what it is, turn the card over and count how many objects are on the other side. Seeing what picture is on the back is always like a reward for them.
After a few numbers, ask your students to point to certain numbers. For example, “Okay, where are the three?” The child points to the third one. Good job! So, that’s all three! Where do they both go? A child doesn’t point to the right card. Uh-oh! You’re close! What happened to the other two? If he can’t find it, help him. Then praise them a lot!
Books about numbers and those that help kids count are great for lessons. Kids love to look at books, and they won’t even realize they’re learning simultaneously. My books are in Spanish, but these two are also good, and you can find English versions of them.
For a game of matching dot patterns, it’s easy to make cards like these. First, layout the number one card, the dot pattern card that goes with it, the number two card, and the dot pattern card that goes with it. Tell your child to match the total count cards with the dot pattern cards that go with them. Give him more cards to match once he knows how to do that. Help him count the dots on the dot trend cards and find the number that goes with them.
Smart Snacks Counting Cookies
We LOVE this toy so much! Playing with these with your child is a great way to help them remember how to count and learn numbers. Pretend you’re really hungry and want some cookies. Tell your kid, “I’m so hungry!” Please let me eat the number two. If your child gives you the right cookie, act like you’re going to eat it. If your child gives you the wrong cookie, act disgusted, assume to cry, and ask again for the number two. When you act so dramatically, kids always think it’s funny.
You can get these for a very low price at Walmart. If you have the right attitude, even eating can be a way to learn. Your child can even count out his snacks. Or ask him how many he wants. Another fun way to sneak in a lesson is to use numbers and count during snack time.
I discovered several of them at a yard sale at a very low price, but they are also available on Amazon and even at Toys R Us. I like to put them in order by number in a hopscotch-like way. Then I play hopscotch with the kids, calling out the numbers I land on. Tell your child to do the same thing. You can also have them jump on certain numbers as you call those out.