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1-2-3 Teaching kids to count

Wednesday, April 30, 2014    

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Counting is a life and math skill, and as early as a year old many kids are already counting to 10. Counting may seem like a basic skill, but it is a prerequisite for everything math related -- once a child can count, he can tackle many other problems. The skill requires memorisation, and if you want a little math whiz by primary school, you will have to apply counting skills to your child's everyday life.

By working with your child on some fun and engaging activities, you can help him/her become a super counter fast.

Start early. Use counting in all your activities — when driving count blue cars; count his/her toys; time your child when he/she brushes teeth; or count how many steps it takes to get from the parking lot to the school door.

The more times your child hears you reciting numbers, the better he/she will be able to memorise them.

Counting isn't just 123 — as the child advances he/she will learn how to apply the skills to multiplication and division; and to do things like group items.

Here are a few ways to get your little one counting.

1. Don't start counting from one all the time. If you have a fast learner, count by 10s or 20s. Challenge your child.

2. Use the child's toys. Give him/her six crayons then add two more and have hi/her count. This is basic addition. Encourage the child to touch each crayon as he/she counts aloud.

3. If you have a real whiz, count by skipping. Do the 1,3,5,7 ... and see if your child can fill in the blanks.

4. Encourage your child to use fingers and toes and to draw sticks and circles to help for as long as the child needs to.

5. When counting becomes an everyday way of life your child will not have problems with things like the times tables as many kids do in primary school. If you introduce the skipping numbers concept early, multiplication will be a breeze.





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