Let’s Explore Number Fun
1 ~ 2 Years ~ Young toddlers love to hear the familiar words that represent numbers. They will use these words to count, almost by memory. They love to play by pretending to count. It’s important at this age to use repetition when counting with them, reading counting books, and singing songs. Movement activities such as clapping, jumping, blinking, and blowing kisses can all be done in groups of three. Once three is conquered, it will be time to start counting up to five.
2 ~ 3 Years ~ Two year olds are ready to count all the way to five, and beyond. Make lots of sets of ten for children to explore, group together in sets, and count. Plastic jars or bowls of seashells, dried pasta shapes, crayons, plastic caps, or anything else which can be explored safely by this age group will quickly be transformed into a counting “toy.”
3 ~ 4 Years ~ Three year olds are counting in order, making one to-one-correspondence, and beginning to understand the real reason why we have numbers. They love to share their counting skills when reciting rhymes and singing counting songs. This is a great time to encourage their creative expression by setting up a book-making center where they can make their very own counting books. A number line, counting chart, and numbered paper plates will become the tools children will use as they begin to count everything they see. It’s time to increase the number of items in their plastic counting jars to 20 so they will be challenged.
4 ~ 5 Years ~ Four years olds are finding stripes, sets and simple patterns everywhere. Help them see the patterns in nature, match items in food groups, and count the rows and rows of cans and cookies at the grocery store. Counting can be done everywhere and it’s always fun.
Number Fun Around The House
Using a recipe and measuring the ingredient – Counting windows, doors, and tiles on the floor – Making patterns with colored pasta, coins, or buttons – Measuring objects with a ruler or a yardstick – Sorting objects according to specific attributes – Counting all of the different sides of basic shapes – Collecting a specific number of items into a group- Putting a puzzle together with the whole family