How Can I Help My Child Learn Early Numeracy Skills
Numeracy is about understanding numbers and solving problems. Numeracy skills are crucial in the children’s early development and preparation for formal schooling.
Good thing is kids naturally pick up numeracy skills even without our active participation. Children actively learn through experiencing and watching numeracy in action (e.g. telling the story of ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’, everyday activities such as counting fingers and toys and recognising numbers on signs and books). During storytelling time and normal conversations, opportunities for numeracy are always there (e.g. while driving we can say we’re already halfway, it’s 7pm and this means bedtime and 6pm it’s dinnertime).
Helping your toddler build numeracy skills
Great thing here is that even without our conscious effort we can always help our children better understand numbers. For more opportunities though, we can make counting a part of everyday life (e.g. whenever you’re out you can encourage your child to count the number of trees around). You can also read books and sing songs that have numbers in them (good thing is that many children’s books and songs have repeating rhythms and patterns that are easy to remember).
We can take it a step higher by introducing the concepts of size (big, small), height (high, low), weight (heavy, light), speed (fast, slow), distance (close, far) and order (first, second, third, last). For example, you can point at two different trees and tell which one is high or low. You can also make use of a growth chart to introduce the concept of height and also warm up your child to how tall can he/she grow. While cooking or preparing food, you can talk about order (which comes first or which comes next) and also about the relative amounts of ingredients to add (more of that, less of this).
Every moment can actually be a golden opportunity to help your child better understand numbers. Good thing here is the whole thing can be made more fun and part of everyday routine. This is important for productive learning because fun can encourage and even accelerate learning and development.
It’s also our approach here at Star Academy Kids Early Learning Centre. We make learning fun and productive because of our approach (helping children have a strong sense of Belonging, Being and Becoming). With a play-based curriculum, kids build a strong foundation on numeracy and literacy while also having fun and developing their social and emotional aspects.