Introducing numbers to preschoolers
Having an understanding of numbers is crucial in our daily lives. It is essential that kids are able to identify and understand numbers from an early age.
Understanding numbers prepares preschoolers for the more complex mathematical tasks that they will face in their school years.
Here are 6 teaching strategies that you can follow as you prepare to introduce numbers to preschoolers.
One: Make numbers a work of art
One of the early ways to get kids thinking numbers in a creative way is to get them painting. While this won’t get them comprehending numbers in any ordered form, that’s fine. They can see them, they can draw them, they can colour them in bright colours and repeat the number out loud as they have some fun with painting.
Two: Connect the dots
An oldie, but a good technique is a game that you can create from a really simple three dots to ten dots, twenty dots, as your kids develop. With a simple chalkboard or plain paper, you can create any image you want and put the kids to the test.
If they’re counting to three, create a triangle and get them to draw lines between the numbers one to three in the right order. Make the drawings and numbers more complex as their counting ability grows.
Children with autism can face certain learning challenges. Find out how you can support a child with autism in the classroom in our previous blog article.
Three: Tidy up by numbers
Here’s a great way to get your preschoolers cleaning up after themselves and learning to count at the same time. If your living area often resembles a toy shop after an earthquake, turn the clean up into a game.
Ask your child to put away three, four or more toys and count them out loud as they do. Cheer every correct number and relocation of a toy from floor to basket like its one less thing for you to do.
As their numbers ability grows, see how many toys they can correctly count into the basket until one lovely day, they can clean up the entire floor and pass preschool math.
Four: Number your neighbourhood
No need to sit around inside with numbers games. Go for a walk and get your kids counting off letterbox numbers. If a bus passes, see if they can recognise any numbers on its front before it goes by. Parked cars have numbers too.
Make numbers an adventure and your kids will enjoy the learning process even more. As they see numbers in all kinds of different places other than chalkboards and exercise books, they’ll also start to see them as more than just numbers. In their own small way, they’ll start to get it that numbers are pretty important.
Five: Sing songs with numbers
If you don’t know any, YouTube will soon fix that as there are a million nursery rhymes and kid’s songs out there most of us even know about yet. Sit with your kids while you play the videos and sing along. Use your fingers to show the numbers for extra emphasis.
Six: Draw by numbers
Write a number on a blank page or chalkboard. Then ask your child to draw apples matching that number. Or stick men, houses or trees, whatever your child likes drawing. The key is to get them drawing the right number. A nice creative and educational exercise.