Numeration is discovering and understanding the "manyness" of numbers. To begin your child's number practice, focus on the "manyness" of numbers one through ten. It's generally easy to understand the concept of one. Your child has been asking for "one" of something since learning to speak! Two is also a manageable concept for your child to grasp because the idea of two has been a part of her knowledge bank since she discovered that she possessed two hands to hold things and realized that this was more than one. The real complexity begins with the number three, so that's a great place to start!
What You Do:
- Give your child three counters.
- Instruct her to move her counters into different positions and have her describe their locations.
- Have her create a pattern with the candies and then reorder them in a different way.
- After she becomes familiar with this set of three candies, encourage her to count to three out loud.
- Repeat this activity with the numbers four and five at a later time. As you introduce her to each new number, explain that she is arriving at the new number by adding one to the previous number she was learning about. For example, when you introduce four you could say, "The last number we talked about is the number three. When you add one to three you have the number four."
- Introduce zero only after numbers one through ten. Emphasize to your child that having "zero candies" is different than simply not having any candy.
Keep practicing counting with any objects you can find! She can count books, blocks, stuffed animals, basically anything she wants! Changing the types of counters is a great way to reinforce the concepts while keeping the activity fun and helping her get all the practice she needs.