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The 6 Amazing Benefits of Playing
30 Jul 2022

6 Tips To Help Teach Preschool Kids How to Count

What are tips to teach kids how to count?

  1. Model counting

  2. Use number puzzles or cards

  3. Play number games

  4. Counting as you hit an instrument

  5. Sing number rhymes

  6. Teach order with connect the dots

Your kids typically learn math concepts from the moment they enter kindergarten, but you can start teaching them the basics right at home. They can start learning as early as a year old! Starting with the fundamentals, like counting, can help your child later on when their teachers start introducing them to math. Teaching your child how to count can be fun and easy, given the right tools, techniques, and strategies. Here are our top tips to teach them how to count:

Model counting

We’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but one of the best ways to teach a kid anything is through modeling. Your child pays a lot more attention to what you’re doing than you think!

So, model early number concepts and counting. You can try things like counting aloud as you spoon-feed them their lunch. Or, counting objects as you hand them to them. 

Make counting a natural part of your interactions with your child! Always look for new opportunities to sneak in counting whenever possible. This will help them become more and more familiar with the concept of counting. 

And, don't get discouraged if they don’t immediately pick it up! Their attention spans are short, but they’ll retain the information eventually if you keep up with it. So, model counting regularly, and your child will gradually learn and demonstrate understanding.

Use number puzzles or cards

Like we said — a toddler’s attention span is short — so you must look for fun ways to incorporate counting lessons.

One of the easiest ways to do this is picking up a pack of number cards — like our Read, Match, and Practice-Numbers Puzzles. This kind of toy makes counting fun and simple and can be repeated each day until your child becomes more familiar with numbers and counting.

You can also use these cards to help them practice number order. For example, you could place the cards from zero to nine in random order. Then, ask your child to rearrange them in the correct sequence. This is a useful practice for those who are well into their counting lessons! 

Play number games

Kids learn better when they’re with their friends and family. So, you could also try playing number games in groups! This encourages healthy competition and also taps into the benefits of modeling counting. 

One game you can try is for them to take turns counting numbers. Have the children sit in a circle, and use things like toys and candy as a visual representation of the numbers! Also, try using puzzles with numbers that they can solve together — like this Counting Wooden Clock Puzzle from Funtastic Stuff!

You can also get them to count their fingers and toes. Make them count out loud, and compare the number of fingers on each hand. You can also try asking them how many pinky toes they have, how many fingers you’re holding up, and so on. 

Counting as you hit an instrument

Toddlers love anything to do with music and dancing — so why not try adding it to your counting lessons? Pulling out an instrument, like this tambourine, will really engage their interest. Use this particular toy to teach counting by hitting or jingling the instrument in sync as you start counting from different numbers.

Sing number rhymes

Aside from musical instruments, you can use their interest in music in other ways, such as singing number rhymes! Your kids are more likely to pay attention to the fun rhythm and melody of a rhyme.

These rhymes are made to be easy for children to understand, and catchy enough that it sticks in their mind. That said, this technique works best for children between three to five years of age.

One popular rhyme to try is the "One, two, three, four, five once I caught a fish alive" rhyme. Or, you can try others like “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” or “Ten Green Bottles.”

Teach order with connect the dots

Once your child is more familiar with the concept of numbers, you can try using connect-the-dot pictures. This helps reinforce their understanding of counting and its correct sequence.

You can use some scrap paper or a chalkboard to draw a shape with numbered dots. Or, you can pick up a connect-the-dots workbook from your local store. Either way, once you have one in front of you, help your child connect the dots to complete the shape. Once the shape is drawn, let your child color the shape, or try it again on their own to make the game more fun!

Key Takeaway

Introducing numbers and counting to your child is possible from even an early age. Doing so will help them understand the concept more easily before they enter school. Your child soaks up new skills like a sponge, so use our tips to teach them how to count, and they’ll understand numbers in no time!