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# What is the importance of counting in early years?

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> 60 days ago

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writes:
Hi Loxy....

This is a very interesting question. I had the pleasure of being a preschool teacher and was a full time mom to my second grader for 4 1/2 years and so I have seen how children's counting skills unfold.  It's truly a phenomenon to watch.  First children learn the numbers, usually 1-10.  Then they learn that each of these number can be apply to an object.  The biggest hurdle is that children need to understand that one object only gets one number.  Until children truly grasp the concept of the 1:1 relationship, they haven't master counting.  There are many times when I see children counting so great up to the number 8 and then the next object as 8 again and then 9 - so they have miscounted.

I would say that the importance of counting is understanding relationship and concrete.  Understanding of relationship in that by counting children knows that each object gets one number/label/name.  Understanding of concrete object in that children knows that when they can count or label something, it's a concrete thing - something they can see and continue to exist.

Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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writes:
Hi loxy,

Good question!

Counting is as important as identifying the alphabet, recognizing their name, etc.  If they are prepared when they start school, they will have a much easier time adjusting and will be able to move through the activities very well.

It's a good idea to have a child starting Kindergarten prepared to count 0-20 at least.  I bought craft sticks (popcicle sticks) and we use those to play with, to help identify 1 stick =1, 2 sticks =2, this helps make the association that counting is more than just reciting numbers in a specific order, but that the numbers actually have a value.

I began counting practice before 2 years of age and my preschooler can currently count to 100 and recognize the numbers and value.

Our little preschoolers are like sponges---and they will absorb all the knowledge that you throw at them, so don't limit their potential, expose them to as much as possible and this will provide them with the tools necessary to be successful and get a great start on the right foot when they begin school.  Best Wishes!!!!!
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