1, 2, 3...
Before you became a parent, your last thought was probably the intricacies of counting. It's probably a skill we take for granted and certainly we don't call it math. And then we have children and counting becomes EVERYTHING. We count to three to give warning of serious trouble, we count before we jump, we count the minutes until bedtime. Counting becomes life!
"Clean up - 'count 10 things to pick up and then your done'. J learned real quick how to count" - our friend Jamie, mom of a 5 and 3 year old.
"We count every freaking thing. The stairs. The candy. The cups. He finally got the hang of 123 after he saw counting on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." - our friend Elizabeth, mom of a 5 and 2 year old.
Our friend Joe, dad of a 3 year old told us their favorite counting game also teaches colors and as a bonus it's a sweet treat. He and his daughter love to count sour patch kids!
To a first time parent teaching your child to count can seem inundating, as if their whole academic future rests on your two year old knowing that there is no such number as "eleventeen". We're here to tell you it's a fallacy. Some two year olds can count perfectly to twenty, and others start Kindergarten struggling to make it past 10.
At preschool we know that each child is created with unique characteristics and that is why we use different techniques to teach counting. We use visuals, such as magnet boards, felt boards, stacking blocks and manipulatives. We use auditory processes, such as counting the days of the week and the days of the month. And we use sensory, such as coloring pages, bins, and more. Through constant repeated efforts and the natural maturing of your child before you know it they'll be solving algebraic equations (in a decade or so).
In the spirit of community, feel free to share your success (or not so successful) stories in the comments. We would LOVE to hear from you.