We started to teach Carter to identify the numbers 0-10 when he was about 8 months old.
There are so many ways you can do this. One of the best tools we used was a number puzzle. Every time he would pick up a number we would say it and repeat the name whilst he placed it in its spot on the puzzle. Once he’d placed all the numbers in the puzzle we would count them all. This puzzle was not only great for his number recognition but puzzles in general are a great tool to use to teach spatial awareness, patience, concentrarion and fine motor skills.
We then started counting EVERYTHING! Shells, rocks, pencils, toys, anything we could find. The key was repetition.
Now that Carter has memorized 0-10 we are starting to add on a couple of numbers at a time, taking him to 12, 13 etc.
The value of a number.
The next step is to teach him about number value. At the moment he has rote learnt how to count but he doesn’t really understand that these numbers have values. Eg: What does having 1 pencil mean? What does a collection of 5 shells look like? To teach this you can use any objects you like, and basically you make and sort different ‘groups of’ with your child. Show them what a collection of 4 buttons looks like and then get them to make their own collection of 4, using their finger to count and check. Getting them to count with their finger encourages 1-1 correspondence, a valuable tool when learning how to count.
The key is to include counting as part of your daily activities, and by continuing to repeat the number sequence, your child will begin to remember it.