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Number Recognition Activities to do with your Children

Number recognition activites
Counting activites
Money and coins activites
Everyday activites
Recommended websites

Number recognition activities

Familiarity with the shape of numbers is important to your childs development. Even if your child is too young to understand what numbers represent this will still help them. Young children often learn to read particular numbers because they are special for them. They might be able to read the number on their front door and the number for their age (which they may have seen on birthday cards) quite some time before they begin to read other numbers.

Children love scrapbooks. What about starting a number book? They could collect pictures showing numbers: birthday cards with numbers, for example. The collection could be made randomly, or in a more organised way. Children might look first for a picture with a number one to stick in, then for a picture showing a two and so on. Or they could look for a picture of one thing, then a picture of two things, then a picture of three things, etc. This is good for counting, learning how numbers are written and the order in which numbers come.

Number search
Choose a number: seven, for example. How many places in the house can your child find the number written? On a book page? On the microwave? On the video? The newspaper? You could also do this outside the home. Get your child to spot how many times they see their chosen number whilst out walking or during a car journey. Look for road signs, bill-boards, clocks, car number-plates, etc. This is good for recognising numbers, and learning about uses of numbers.

Counting activites

Very young children simply do not know what we mean when we ask them 'how many?' and it takes a long time for most children to understand what a number is. This isn't surprising because it is a difficult area for a child to grasp. From an early age, children learn the names of things like 'cup', 'teddy bear' and 'car'. These are relatively easy for them to learn because we can point to a cup and say its name.

After this has happened a few times, many children learn to recognise the word, and later to say it themselves. But learning what we mean by 'two' and 'four' is much harder for a child. Many children learn about the idea of 'how many' very gradually. They are helped in the early stages if you draw their attention to the way numbers match things or objects, like giving each person a glass of something to drink: 'one glass for Molly … one for Sam … one for …' and so on.

Counting together
Count as many things as you can. Bathtime is a good time to get your child to count how many fingers and toes they have. Count the stairs as you climb them.

Ten things in a matchbox
Find an empty matchbox. Ask your child to find ten little things (all different) that will fit inside, all at once. Afterwards, help your child count the contents. This is good for both counting and learning about size.

Money and coins activites

Children love playing with coins. Just tip out the contents of your purse, wash them first and put them on a tray. Ask the children to make sure it all stays on the tray, and they'll probably be happy for ages. If they run short of ideas you could suggest:

Sort the coins
Ask your child to put all the 1p pieces together, then all the 2p pieces and so on. Children aren't always good at telling the difference between the coins, and this gives them some useful practice. Can they find one of each coin? How many different coins are there altogether? (Do you know that? Most adults need to think about it before they can answer).

Play shopping
Take some tins and packets from the cupboard and write some simple prices on them. The prices should be less than 10p, or ones that can be paid for with a single coin - young children find giving change very hard. Now take it in turns to be the shopkeeper and shopper: 'I'll have a tin of beans, please. How much is that? 7p I'll give you seven pennies. One … two … three … four … five … six … seven. There you are.' These activities are good for sorting, counting and recognising coins.

Help your children through everyday activities

Here are some examples of how some families help their children with learning. The same activities may not go on in your family, but these descriptions may give you ideas for how you could involve your child with the things that you do. Children pick up many of their ideas from what happens in their families. The children in the following case studies have obviously had a good start when it comes to learning that they can use in real life and in school. It's worth looking at the calculations that you do in everyday life and encouraging your children to join in with them.

Case studies

Sally is six and her aunt and uncle run a fruit and vegetable stall. Sally spends quite a bit of time at their stall. For such a young child, she understands a lot about money. She knows that people hand over money in exchange for food. She knows that they sometimes get money back, as well as food. She doesn't know exactly what every coin is worth, but her aunt and uncle help her understand that there are some important differences between the coins. All this is a help to Sally as she learns to do calculations with money at school.

Ravi is nearly nine and his mother runs a catalogue, taking orders for her friends and neighbours. Sometimes Ravi is with her while she does her paperwork - filling in order forms, checking statements and so on. When she has time, she involves him in what she's doing and he has a chance to see how she writes numbers and then to find the order numbers for her. Ravi is getting experience of counting and using large numbers and his mother encourages him to read the amounts she writes down and to count the money she collects.

Maeve is eight. Her parents are doing some work on their flat, and they are happy to let her help with some of the things they have to do. From this, she is able to learn a lot about counting, measurement and estimation. For instance, she helps as they measure wood for shelves and counts out the screws they need to put them up. They all talk about whether the paint in a particular tin will be enough to cover a wall and Maeve is able to see whether their estimates are about right.

James, who is only three, has an older sister. They both help their mother make soft toys. His mother and sister have a set routine for making each toy. They put the various parts in order on a long table, and then they put them together in a certain way. Because his mother and sister have let him help, James knows that you cannot put a doll's hands on its body until you've put it's arms on. So he's learning about the order in which things need to be done and ideas about order are very important in calculation.

Recommended Websites

www.saveabitspendabit.co.uk - Saveabitspendabit is a unique tool for parents and teachers to teach their children how to save.

www.funtosave.org - It is designed for children aged 4-7 and is a fantastic, fun resource to introduce the concept of saving and increase financial capability through fun games and activities. As a resource it has the backing of
the FSA, The Department for Children, Schools and Families and was developed to address a 'gap' in financial capability provision/education for this age group.



Interesting Fact

Child Tax Exempt Savings Plans (TESPs) are an efficient and simple way to save for your child, and Shepherds Young Saver Plan lets you put away more per month than any other TESP.

Click here to find out more

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