Teaching numbers in preschool can be tricky. In most cases, the children you are teaching will not have had any formal education, and they will certainly not have been taught how to count to ten in the classroom.
There are a number of different ways in which you can teach numbers to your preschoolers. Some of the most popular ways involve teaching them by:
Example and using visual aids; such as flashcards and games. Children love playing games, so it is important that you always have plenty of these available for them to use while they are learning.
Consistency: It is also very important that you are consistent with your lessons so that the children know what they are supposed to do each time they come into class. Children tend to forget things if they hear them too many times and it can become frustrating for the teacher if he or she has to remind them every day about something new.
Use of Toys: Another great way of teaching numbers in preschool is by using toys that are designed to help children learn how to count. These include number blocks or dice and even puzzles. Using these types of games will help children understand the concepts behind counting and give them a good foundation on which to build upon later on in their lives.
Sing songs with number words in them.
Count objects in your child’s environment (e.g., the number of steps they climb or the number of people they see).
Use flash cards to teach number words.
For children who need extra practice, write out their homework problems in different colors, so it looks more like a game than a chore.
Number Games: To play the game, start by having all of the kids sit in a circle and then put all of the numbers in the middle. Then, call out a number and have one child take it out of the middle and place it on their head. Once all children have a number on their head, switch places with another child and make sure that they know what number they’ve taken off of your head (or else they’ll forget it!). This game can be repeated multiple times until every child has had their turn with each number in turn.
Let them play with numbers. If you’re shopping, ask them how much money you’ll need to buy a toy. You can even let them pay with the fake money—they’ll love it!
Involve them in counting activities. Count out the correct amount of spoons at dinner together, or ask them to count how many steps they take while going up the stairs.
Learning Numbers in Preschool
Learning numbers in preschool is important because it helps children to prepare for success in the classroom. It also helps to lay a solid foundation for future math lessons in school. As kids grow, their brains develop and prepare for school. Preschoolers during these time push boundaries and explore the world around them. Because of this, one to three-year-olds are constantly learning about letters and numbers. Learning letters is often emphasized in preschools. However, learning numbers can be just as effective and interesting for young children, too. Some of the things that you can do to teach your child about numbers before they enter preschool are:
Practice counting with your child by counting the number of stairs as you go up and down. While walking through your neighborhood, count the number of stop signs that you pass by. Count how many cars are in your driveway and how many total family members there are in your home. Display a calendar that has numbers all around it, and point out the different numbers each day. Show them how to use their fingers to count when they don’t know a number on the calendar.
How to Keep Your Preschooler Interested in Learning Numbers
The numbers 1-10 are easy for preschoolers to memorize, but it’s important to make sure they understand what those numbers actually mean. Whether you’re homeschooling, or just want to make sure your preschooler is on the right track for kindergarten, here are some fun ways to ensure your child is understanding the concepts behind the numbers:
Use books and toys that use number concepts. Play with blocks. Count the cars. Read a book about numbers. Show them how these things work in the real world.
Write down their answers when they get the right answer and discuss where they got it wrong. This will help them learn from their mistakes and retain information better.
Kids are visual learners—so don’t be afraid to use visuals! Use a picture of a cookie or apple cut into pieces when teaching about fractions; show them how many seconds it takes for an egg timer to tick down before you get one minute; use flash cards with little pictures of things that are labeled “one” or “two.” They’ll remember more than if you just tell them something verbally.
Use real-life examples of numbers all around you. Point out when you see a number, whether it’s on a sign or on an item for sale at the grocery store. Pointing out numbers will help your preschooler recognize them when he or she sees them again in the future.
Make it fun: If your child is already having fun playing games with his or her friends, that’s great! But if not, try creating some fun activities at home where your child can learn their numbers too. You can use stickers or other small items to create patterns for your child too.
Make sure they understand the purpose of what they’re learning by explaining how it will help them later in life.
Use games, such as flashcards or counting blocks, to make learning fun and interesting for your child.
Create a rewards system where your child gets something special after learning a certain amount of new numbers.
Encourage them to ask questions about anything they don’t understand so that you can help clarify things for them before moving on to something else.