Learning to count

Learning to count

There are many things that are mile stones, and learning to count is one of those.

I don’t really follow when Daniel and Emma ‘should’ be doing certain things… I’m fairly relaxed about it and they will get there when they get there. Our approach to teaching them is quite a gentle one, preferring for things to be consistent and I suppose ‘taught’ as part of everyday life. I want learning to be fun for them both and as play based as possible, letting them be small people for as long as possible.

learning to countThere is a book that Daniel and I have read for a long while, on and off. It used to belong to my younger brother and it was, for a long time one of the favourites which came out every day, but then it became less popular. It’s a book which counts ten different animals. I have always read it counting and pointing each animal out to him.

He learnt a lot of animal names, noises and signs from this book and I am sure it has contributed to his numerical knowledge. It is such a simple book, and one that has really lasted well!

As well as this book we also use a jigsaw which has lots of little farm scenes and features the numbers 1-10. Again, we have looked at this and counted and talked about the animals that we can see and what they might be doing (ducks swimming etc).

A week or so ago Daniel and I had a Saturday afternoon to ourselves whilst Emma napped and Damian was out at work. We decided to make an egg box snake. I set him up with the task and started colouring in myself. Daniel asked me to help him glue something, as I was colouring in I said, ‘let me just do ten more, then I will help. Without really thinking, I  began to count out loud.

I said ‘one’ and immediately a little voice said ‘two’. I was amazed. I replied that ‘yes, that’s right, one. two.’ He then said ‘three.’ Again, I was amazed! This continued all the way to ten (with a slight wobble at seven).

I was completely astounded. He has never shown any understanding of the sequence of numbers but, sat right next to me, completely unprompted he counted to ten.

Now I have sat and reflected it is obvious that counting appears so frequently, be it in the books we read such as the three bears or three little pigs or the songs we sing such as five little ducks and five monkeys jumping on the bed. I suppose it was inevitable that it would make an impression in Daniel’s mind and store away somewhere to be recalled at a later date.

We are now encouraging counting in even more things that we do together. For example counting out things, counting the number of apples we are buying, the number of eggs in the box etc. He still has a lot to learn yet, but our gentle approach has, so far, worked and I am so proud of my little man.

Family Friday


Mami 2 Five




  1. 29th October 2014 / 17:23

    and I must admit I am astounded at his speech in general, his counting skills are more than impressive

  2. Pauline
    29th October 2014 / 17:32

    He’s a clever boy, as well as cute. Emma is coming from the rear very quickly.

  3. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    31st October 2014 / 14:26

    Its so lovely when they astound you isn’t it? Monkey adores counting, we’ve not pressured him but he just loves numbers and counts all the time! Well done to Daniel, sounds like a clever boy! Xx #familyfriday

  4. 2nd November 2014 / 18:23

    What a clever little man. I totally agree about gentle learning. At this age they learn through play and are natural sponges when they are engaged #familyfriday

    • 2nd November 2014 / 20:30

      they really are sponges aren’t they?! I say that to my husband all the time. thank you for stopping by and commenting xx

  5. 3rd November 2014 / 11:17

    I’m a great believer in the parrot-fashion style method of learning, though it seems to be fading away from the schools at the moment. Stuff like this shows that repetition can work well. Good to see it! Thanks for linking up again. #FamilyFriday

  6. 4th November 2014 / 16:56

    Aw, well done Daniel! I competely agree that learning should be made as fun, and as far away from a chore, as possible. If you’re looking for another counting book, ‘Hippos Go Beserk’ is a lovely one. So charming and funny. x

  7. 9th November 2014 / 20:25

    I think you’ve totally got the right attitude towards learning. It should always be enjoyable, tuna and a part of their every day ordinary. And that book sounds amazing too! The old ones are always the best!! Thank you so much for linking up with #sundaystars xx Steph xx

  8. 14th November 2014 / 16:27

    I definitely think that this is the best way to teach them. A slow, gentle and play based form of learning means that they learn at their own pace and it can be fun. We introduce counting in similar ways. Little Miss H’s favourite book is “One ted falls out of bed” by Julia Donaldson. A lovely bedtime story that includes counting from one to ten and back again. Thanks for linking to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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