Written by Smita Srivastava
Have you ever seen a toddler count? They are bound to miss a number or two and sometimes mix up the order too. It can be very cute but at the back of your mind, you definitely want to ensure they correct it and learn the right order. Using number activities to teach toddlers numbers can have a good outcome.
Toddlers love to play. They will not sit in one place and learn the numbers if you were to teach it to them. You need to make it interesting and indirect. Activities and games are the best option when you want them to learn through play. Learning through play has many advantages. If you want some interesting number activities and games for toddlers to teach them numbers, this is for you.
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What is a world without numbers? Can you go through even a day without using numbers? Counting or even checking the number of hours you have crossed without using numbers also involves numbers. That is how important numbers are to our daily lives. It is very important for your toddler to not just learn about numbers but to also use them effectively.
According to PubMed Central, All parents introduce their toddlers to numbers unintentionally when they try to make them eat just another bite or wait for a few minutes. When you actively teach numbers through interesting activities and games, toddlers will grasp faster and remember longer.
Understanding numbers and counting is also important for effective communication. Your toddler may not comprehend many details if they don’t understand numbers. Learning numbers also lays the foundation for their education in both school and outside. Whether you want to make your toddler a future mathlete or not, they need to learn numbers.
It is very easy to introduce numbers to your toddler. We use numbers in our everyday lives with almost everyone around us. Toddlers observe a lot and unintentionally you are already teaching your toddler about numbers.
When you want to actively teach them numbers in a sequential and effective format, you can do so using some interesting number activities and games. Toddlers tend to remember the games, the rules, and the fun they have as they do the activity or play the game. Through these games, they can learn counting, reading, recognizing, and even using numbers without hesitation.
Not everyone is a fan of math. Turn your lessons into fun activities and games, and watch your toddler understand and use numbers with ease. Here are some of the best and most effective number activities and games for toddlers to teach them about numbers.
We are bound to have numbers all around us. A little hunting game can sharpen observational skills.
Look around your house, find numbers, and notice how or where they are present. Now, mention the number and ask your toddler to hunt for it. You can start giving them clues like what color the numbers are in, whether they are below eye level or above eye level, etc. You can add to the clues depending on your toddler’s progress.
Hunting for the numbers will help improve your toddler’s observational skills. They have to look around and hunt for the number, thus making them focus more on their surroundings. It can help them read and recognize numbers and also use them in daily conversations.
Number recognition is an important step in learning numbers. Your toddler should develop the ability to count and match the answer to the number written down.
All you need are a few clothespins and a sheet of paper. Divide the paper into 10 parts and mark dots from numbers 1 to 10 – preferably each number in a different color. Now write the numbers on the clothespins to match the dots. Each clothespin will have numbers pertaining to one number from 1 to 10. Ask your toddler to count the dots on the paper and clip the clothespin with the corresponding number written on it, on the side with the same number of dots.
This activity will teach your toddler to count as well as recognize the numbers. Handling a clothespin will strengthen their fingers and improve fine motor skills.
Counting on their fingers might still be tough for some toddlers. When you use props, it makes it easier for a toddler to visualize and count without missing or repeating.
All you need is a stack of paper cups and a pair of dice. Split the cups equally between the two of you.
Now take turns to roll the dice. Let’s say your toddler rolls a six. Now, ask them to count out six cups from your pile and move it to their side. Similarly, you roll the dice, count the number of cups from your toddler’s pile and move them to your side.
Apart from counting, your toddler will also learn to read the numbers. They also develop important socializing skills like taking turns, waiting, not crying when someone takes their things, and playing together.
If your toddler is old enough to hold a pencil and draw lines, this can be a great activity.
You can find many dot-to-dot or join-the-dots books in the market. If you are good at drawing, you can create your own dotted images with numbers too. Help your toddler find the numbers in sequence and connect them using a pencil or a crayon. As they start understanding, you can let them do it with little or no assistance.
Connecting the numbers in order will not only teach your toddler to count and remember the order of the numbers but will also teach them to read and recognize the numbers. Connecting and drawing the lines will also help improve their writing and drawing skills.
Toddlers love to paint and get messy. You can let this messy play become a learning activity by involving a few numbers.
You can either draw an image or buy a coloring book for this activity. Mark parts of the image with different numbers from 1 to 5. On the side of the same page, draw 5 small squares. Now, color each of these 5 squares in bright or primary colors like red, blue, yellow, green, and orange. Ask your toddler to color each part of the image according to the color of the number marked in that part.
Through this activity, your toddler will learn to read and recognize the numbers even when they are not in any particular order. They will also learn to remember and match the numbers to the colors and color the picture accordingly. It improves their memory and cognitive abilities.
You can invest in simple puzzles that use numbers from 1 to 10 or 1 to 20. Toddlers may find it difficult to comprehend more numbers.
You can find number jigsaw puzzles or even shape sorting puzzles with numbers on them. Help your toddler identify, read and match the numbers. If your toddler is too small, you can ask them to just line up the pieces in numerical order. You can use one toy in multiple ways as they grow and understand better.
This activity improves their cognitive, counting, and recognizing skills. It also improves their memory and problem-solving skills.
[Read : Shape Sorting Toys For Babies]
A simple yet effective game where all you need is a single die or just a pair of dice. Toddlers love to roll the dice, so make the best of it through this activity.
Let your toddler roll the dice. Once the dice lands, help your toddler count the dots. So, every time they roll the dice, they will count from one up to the number on the dice. This teaches them to count without missing or repeating the dots. It also helps them read the dice, which is very important when they want to play board games.
Nothing like a car game when you are on a road trip or stuck in traffic. When your toddler is bored, you can use this game to keep them occupied.
Ask your toddler to look out the window and count the number of cars they see. You can play these games anytime and any day. If you have more than one kid in the backseat, give them colors. Ask each child to count cars in a particular color. Watch the boring ride turn into a competitive spotting game filled with excitement and victorious screams.
Such games teach your toddler to count, improve their observational skills, and keep them alert. It also improves their reaction time and neck mobility.
A simple inexpensive game that can teach your toddler to read, recognize and match the numbers.
Take a pack of playing cards and mix them all up. Ask your toddler to pull out a card and read the number. Now ask them to find the other 3 cards with the same number on them. This activity will also improve your toddler’s observational and problem-solving abilities.
Learning can be a lot of fun when it involves physical activity or playing. Hopscotch is an all-time favorite game for generations. Let your little one experience the joy of jumping and counting with this exciting game.
Draw boxes on the floor with some chalk and number them sequentially. Show your toddler how to hop from one block to the other in order. If they are too young to hop, let them just jump. Encourage them to count as they jump. You can make it interesting by joining them or bringing in more kids to play this game. The more the merrier.
Hopscotch is a great game that will teach your child to count while exerting themselves physically. It will teach them to read, recognize and count numbers. The game will also help improve their jumps, balance, and gross motor skills.
Activities and games involving numbers can be fun and interactive. Ensure you keep repeating the numbers until your toddler can tell them in order, without any prompts. Understanding and knowing their numbers will help your toddler become more confident and encourage them to think with numbers. When they do something so important while having fun, they are sure to remember it forever.
Children between the ages of 2 and 4 show interest, and understand the concept of numbers. If you teach numbers to them at this age, they will grasp it very well.
Every kid is different and their cognitive abilities also differ. Toddlers between the ages of 2 and 4 will start counting. Repeated exposure through interesting activities like counting for hide and seek can help your toddler learn to count faster.
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.
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