Developing Your Toddler’s Number Sense

Developing Your Toddler’s Number Sense

Posted on November 28, 2018 : Posted in Early Child Care, Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

Developing Your Toddler’s Number Sense

Number sense, or the internal sense of quantities and numbers, begins early. While teaching your child to count is very important, there is much more to number sense than simply knowing the numbers. Just as letters are the building blocks for reading, numbers are part of a much larger system that your child will begin to understand and use as they grow. Today we will explore some simple activities you can do with your child to increase your toddler’s number sense and help them unlock that mathematical world.

One-to-One Correspondence

One very important part of number sense is making the connection between the number we say and the quantity it represents. This is learned by toddlers when they begin to count and touch each item they are counting. As you probably know, children without this understanding will frequently mimic your pointing as you count, but do so haphazardly and without real understanding. To encourage one-to-one correspondence, simply count things you see throughout the day. Try counting with your child as you read with your hand over his hand, pointing to each item. Repetition is the best way to teach one-to-one correspondence.

Practice Matching Quantities

Children love to make matches, and matching is an excellent way to practice number sense. This is especially fun at meals. Simply say, “I have three grapes in my hand. Can you put three grapes in your hand?” and so on. You can also do this at other times of day with any objects you can find. Beads, stuffed animals, rocks, or shoes will all work! Find ways to integrate this practice throughout the day and your child will make the connection in no time.

Sing It!

When it comes to numbers, we rely on what we know instinctively. An excellent way to develop that reflexive, instinctive knowledge is through songs and rhymes. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed; Ten in the Bed; Five Little Ducks; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe; and One Banana, Two Banana are all example of popular children’s rhymes that will help familiarize your child with numbers and the relationships between them.

Make Comparisons

Because number sense is not only the knowledge of numbers but the relationships between them, comparing quantities is a great way to practice these skills. You can ask your child these questions anywhere. Are there more apples in this box or that one? Does our house have more cars or does the neighbors’? This doesn’t require any counting or even numbers. Instead, it encourages your child to estimate and evaluate quantities. You can do it with sizes and shapes, as well. Have your child find two things that are the same and then two things that are different. All of these skills are important for future success in mathematics.

We all relish the moments when we first hear our toddler singing the alphabet or counting out loud. It is a wondrous thing to experience your child learning. However, just as the alphabet is only the foundation on which literacy is built, numbers are only the beginning of your child’s mathematical understanding. By encouraging your toddler’s number sense, you help them see the relationship between numbers and how it affects the world around them. Are you searching for childcare that emphasizes these meaningful skills from an early age? If so, consider Legacy Academy Suwanee Dam. Our staff works hard to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.