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How to Begin Teaching Numbers

Look at the above image, what do you see? As an adult you probably see three building blocks. Try asking your child, do they see three blocks, or do they see a pink block, a blue block and a yellow block?

Recognizing and becoming sensitive to numbers is something children have to be taught from an early age and is the basis for counting, math - and quantum physics!

Try the activities below to help your child start to recognize and learn numbers.

Remember - repetition and consistency is key!

Repeat and Acknowledge Numbers

Teaching numbers starts with you acknowledging and repeating numbers in every day life so children can learn context. Anytime you have a small amount of something, try saying the number allowed.

‘You have 2 toys’

‘You have 3 strawberries to eat’

‘There are 5 coloring pencils’

Sing Counting Songs

Counting songs and rhymes are not only fun but very stimulating for little ones. As they learn the song, your child will begin to learn the order of the numbers, count along on your fingers for more learning opportunities.

Songs to try out

5 Cheeky Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

5 Little Ducks

Ten in the bed

The ants go marching one by one

Start to Recognize Numbers

As children learn the sounds associated with numbers, you can also begin to tie in the visual representation. There are many toys out there with numbers on them, from blocks, to flashcards and foam mats.

Try counting with your child, while pointing to the correct number. Once they can recognize the numbers by themselves, see if they can learn which number is which when they are out of order.

Match numbers to quantities

There are many toys out there with this concept, or make one yourself with a pen and paper and some small items

Draw out a number, and get your child to count out that many pompoms, pencils or other small objects. Try it backwards, draw all the numbers 1-10, then give them 5 pencils and ask them to point out which number matches.


By now your little one should be beginning to make the association between the sound, visual representation and quantity of numbers.

Once your child has mastered this, you can begin to move on to more advanced math such as addition and subtraction.

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