February 10, 2020
Counting and numbers are the basic numeracy foundation for mathematics and an essential cornerstone in a child's cognitive development, which is why its something worth focusing on. Heres my take on how I have found play to be a beneficial tool for practicing this skill.
OK, You already know this, but here goes, the key to supporting a child learning is repetition, who would have thought hey? But I can tell you I think both Orson and I would go crazy if we sat down and I just listed numbers and letters all day, so for at least my sanity It's worth shaking it up a bit and using a whole range of activities to aid with learning.
You may feel a little silly a first but try and include numbers in everyday conversation with your child, talk about what you're doing and how many times you are doing it or how many there are. "How many flowers do you see?, I see 1,2,3 flowers", "I'm going to buy 4 bananas and 3 apples" not only does this familiarise your child with numbers and quantities of items but it demonstrates the real-life uses of mathematics. My favorite way to incorporate numbers into play with Orson is cooking! Orson loves helping with the cooking and you get to use mathematical terms such as 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 a cup/liter AND they get a feeling of accomplishment and a reward (FOOD, glorious food) at the end, Win Win.
Nursery rhymes and kids songs are great resources for learning numbers, there repetitive and get stuck in your head easily, which is great news because it means they also get stuck in your little ones head too. I'm sure you're familiar with the basics: "1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive", "5 little ducks", "This old man".
Books are gold and are THE best learning resource for kids, of course, there are endless counting books out there, I recommend a trip to the library (keeping it low costs!) or utilize any picture book at home, it's easy to find things to count in the pictures.
Like many kids, Orson learns really easily through play and there are about a million toys out there, marketed at helping your child with numeracy. At Wunderkinds, were pretty passionate about toys and have done the hard work for you, figuring out which toys are actually helpful. Blocks (one of my all-time favorites!) have so many developmental benefits and can be used as a perfect companion and learning tool for numeracy education. Stacking, sorting, and building are all perfect play activities to introduce numbers into play.
So that's it, keep it simple people and remember that YOU are your child's best learning resource so let's make it fun!
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