Children will pick up the number words that they hear being used around them. They will imitate adults, chanting
the number words they have absorbed. At first, they will miss out numbers or get them in the wrong order, often
becoming hesitant after "one, two, three". You can help them along by counting all sorts of things in everyday
life, such as parts of the body, people around the table at mealtime, the stairs as you walk up them, letters that
have come through the letterbox and so on.
Money games to help children learn about money, including recognising coins, adding money amounts and
giving change. Also links to family finance sites.
There are some excellent free online maths games available at this site, to help with counting, adding, multiplication, telling
the time and fractions..
Recommended Maths Games
Although memorising the number names and the correct sequence is of course a useful skill, simply chanting
numbers in order is not counting - in order to count, you need something to count. Young children find this
difficult, because as well as remembering the number names and the sequence, they have to remember to say just one
number for each object they're counting (this means they have to go much more slowly than usual if they're used to
just reciting the number names) and stop when they've counted them all. It helps enormously if you encourage your
child to touch each object in turn as they count, or better still move it. It's easier to count the apples as you
put them into the fruit bowl one by one.
Start with very small quantities when practicing counting to build their confidence. Even if your child can
recite the numbers correctly up to twenty, they may still struggle with the practical skill of counting five
objects, and it's counting real objects that will help them to begin to develop a real understanding of what the
In school Reception class (age four to five), children will have lots of counting practice. They will also learn
to recognise the numerals as well as begin to read the number words up to ten. There is lots of emphasis on
sequencing numbers, such as giving children cards with numbers on to put into order or hiding a number and seeing
if the children can work out which one is missing.