Learning about numbers can be exciting! You just have to make the learning experiences relevant and fun.
Seeing numbers in real settings seems to do the trick – it’s all about making numbers come to life. Otherwise, the whole number thing can be completely lost on children.
Identifying numbers on houses or buses when you're out and about with your little one, looking at the shapes of the objects you see, sorting and matching socks, or even counting toys as you tidy them away can all help to familiarise children with mathematical concepts such as 'one more' or 'one less', pairs and counting.
Below are some simple and inexpensive activities that parents/carers can do with their child to encourage recognition of numbers.
How CBeebies can help
Numberjacks hits the spot immediately for young children and gets them off to a great start. So why not let your child have a go at one of the fun Numberjacks games on the CBeebies website such as Number Jumping Generator or Shape Japer Dominoes
Numtums helps the very youngest children recognise the shapes of numbers and the order that they should be in, with catchy sing-along songs and comical skits. On the website, you'll find lots of short, funny number learning games like Poppidy Pop and Bouncing Numtums that little ones can play alone or with a grown up, both on desktop and mobile / tablet.
If you want to play some of the games featured in our video with your child, such as Tree Fu Tom Magic Build-A-Wall, Mike The Knight Pairs or Show Me Show Me Colour by Numbers, you will find them all on the CBeebies website too.
How to make a magic moment
A number recognition magic moment may well happen whilst playing this game. You will need:
- newspaper/large paper
- sticky tape
- black felt-tip pen
- a cube-shaped box (to be your dice)
Draw 1 spot on one side of your box, then 2 spots on another side, 3 on another and so on until you have made your large homemade dice!
Tape some sheets of newspaper together on the floor and draw a long snake with about 30 segments, with each segment being big enough for one child-sized stride. Wind your newspaper snake through two or three rooms (remove your shoes and socks so the paper doesn’t tear).
You’re ready to begin your game. Stand on the final segment of the snake (tip of the tail). Throw the dice and count the spots. If there are 3 spots, help your child to take 3 big strides, one per segment and counting as they go. Then, throw the dice again.
Play the game together and see who can reach the top (head) of the snake first. A big ‘HISSSS!’ and a high five for the winner!