Learning in general for kids should be fun. This means that you don’t have to make it obvious to your child that they are learning. If learning can be so draining and boring for a very grown-up person, then it’s multiple times more boring for a young child. Hence, in the process of teaching your child to count, make the process enjoyable. Devise ways that make the learning process revolve around playing. That way, you can get your kid to master counting very easily. Your kid will not even realize they are learning. Make your kids enjoy the process of learning to count to the extent that, they feel like they can’t wait for the next session or game. For starters, as a parent, it’s crucial to note that there is a difference between reciting and counting. In the same way, there is also a difference between counting numbers and recognizing them. All of these three skills follow a pattern. If you are clueless about how to go about this topic, we have a few tips for you.
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How to teach kids to count
As a parent or guardian, you have to be inventive in the process of teaching your kid to count. This is because kids don’t want to get the feeling that they are learning. Kids need to feel like they are playing. Besides, who enjoys the whole process of learning anyways. Therefore, you need to be strategic so as not to make counting tiresome for your kid. That way, your kid will look forward to the next lesson with great anticipation and enthusiasm.
Use big pauses between numbers
There is a huge difference between reciting and counting. For your kids to master the skill of counting, they have to first learn how to recite. As you first teach your child to recite, you should start with the numbers from 0 to 10. In the process, make sure your kid understands that 0 is as much a number, although it’s only used when there is nothing to point or refer to. However, as you now shift your child’s focus to counting use very long pauses before moving on to the next object and number. This will, in turn, make your child understand that they are only allowed to move on to the next number only if their finger is on the next object. As your child grows, then you can teach kids to count the numbers from 10 to 20.
Keep lessons short
This is mainly because as kids grow, their focus is all over the place. Now, if you want to make your lessons fruitful, it’s wise to keep them short. Consistency is the major key that’ll allow your kid to master counting in a short span.
Now, here are some games you can implement in your learning process to make it more interesting for your kid.
Use fun toys to teach kids to count
This is important in the sense that it makes the learning process feel like playing. Make sure to use bright, fun toys. For instance, you can use stuffed animals, teddy bears, small cars, or flowers. Ask your children questions like, how many zebras are there among their toys or, how many cars do they have in front of them. The art of differentiating between objects revolves around counting. Make your child count the number of flowers he or she is playing with whilst putting them in your hand. Or, make him or her count and separate the yellow toy butterflies from the rest of the toys.
Make your own DIY counting toys
Teaching your kid how to count doesn’t mean that you have to pay a huge amount of money to get results. Be creative. Make your own counting cards or counting sticks using the available resources. Make sure to add a colorful touch to your toys. Let your children enjoy the process while learning. Besides, colors have an effect of allowing your kid to remember things better.
Associate the process of learning how to count with singing games
This is a very commonly used trick and it works so perfectly. Mixing the learning process with songs makes it much more easier for your kid. It’s much easier for kids to remember songs, hence, in the process, they master the skill of counting. You can use common songs that involve counting or invent your own. For example, a song that involves animals and food can be more fun and effective.
Try to count relatable stuff
Make counting for your kid relatable. Here are a few examples. Make your kid count how many people there are in your family. Or, make your kid count how many people are sitting at the table. Clap for them after each trial to boost their confidence and they are eager to learn. Count with your kid the number of spoons of food you are putting on their plate in the process of serving food. Have your kid count the number of objects in your house. Or, allow your kid to count the number of trees in your yard. This, in turn, makes counting to feel natural for your kid. In return, you teach kids to count without them being aware of the fact.
Make them watch educative cartoons and kids TV shows
Have you ever realized how kids easily recall what they watch on TV? You can, therefore, use this simple fact to your own advantage. Have your kid watch more of the cartoons that involve little counting lessons. For instance, cartoons such as Dora the Explorer or Mickey mouse clubhouse can be very helpful. Your kid will get the chance to enjoy these while unknowingly learning how to count.
In conclusion, as mentioned earlier, you have to make the learning process feel natural and enjoyable. It’s those things your children learn whilst playing, that’s going to stick to their brains for a lifetime. And, when it comes to kids, it’s much more effective to make the process of counting more visual and colorful. That way, your kid will have an image in their brain to relate to as he or she tries to remember.