To help children to see counting as a natural, every day part of language and communication.
I have always counted with my own children, my grandchildren and the children in my class.
With a babe in arms I’d count the steps as I paced the room waiting for some peace. I would pace counting the steps and then pace back to the other side and repeat the process
To be honest, this wasn’t a conscious effort to teach my newborn how to count to ten. I just needed some sleep!! I kept the volume of my voice the same whilst I chanted the numbers.
The monotony of my voice repeating over and over again would be enough to make anyone fall asleep and on most occasions it works a treat.
Although, nothing on earth would make my second son settle if he didn’t want to sleep!
Children love repetition and once they start to chatter you’ll hear them ‘singing the song’ of counting especially if you accentuate the numbers to make them longer. It is a great step when you can hear children doing this by themselves.
They may not understand the concept of ‘counting’ yet but they have learnt the tune and now just need to get to grips with the words.
This is rote learning (off by heart) and I wouldn’t normally advocate this type of learning but with counting I feel it is a good base and children enjoy joining in.
Talk numbers as soon as possible.
Count fingers, toes, eyes, ears, steps, blocks, people. At this stage it isn’t really necessary to go beyond ten which is quite lucky as you have ten fingers and toes.
Count everything – don’t go overboard; there’s not a lot of point of counting the number of garden peas on your plate – One hundred and fifty nine, one hundred and sixty…
There are no resources needed for counting. It’s is just a way to get your little one introduced to the ‘sound’ of counting.
When you’ve run out of your repetoire of songs to soothe your baby, chanting numbers comes easily. If you find this to be a way to help your baby to settle, why not record yourself. This way you get to have a rest as you’ll probably be completely fed up with counting.