teaching your preschooler how to count

Many children enter preschool with some knowledge of numbers and counting. They can count five to ten objects accurately and can also read some numbers. But many other children have not developed this knowledge. These children in particular need many opportunities to learn the words for numbers, to count things, and to learn to read and write numbers.

You can help your children to learn about numbers and counting in many ways, including these informal ways:

Make pointing to and counting objects part of your daily routines.

As you pass out the juice cups at snack time, point and count the cups; as you pass out pieces of paper for an art project, point to the paper and count the pieces; count the children’s boots as you help take them off; count the stairs as the children walk down them.

Children like to point to and count their fingers, their legs, and their ears. Help them do that.

Here are some other activities that you can use to help the children with numbers and counting:

Use different types of macaroni. Encourage them to sort the different types and then count them.

Have materials on a choice shelf such as rubber teddy bears and colored cotton balls.

Give children rulers and let them measure different things around the room.

Teach the children counting songs and rhymes. You can play counting games with many different actions such as jumping and clapping. As children learn number words, they can count more actions.

As you and the children sing counting and rhyming songs you can add and take off felt board pieces that represent objects in the song.