Learning Through Play
Children can start to recognise the sound of numbers from an early age if they hear number songs and rhymes and hear people counting. Some examples of rhymes are:
Five currant buns in a baker's shop - See video & lyrics
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive - See video & lyrics
Five Little Ducks - See video & lyrics
Five Little Speckled Frogs - See video & lyrics
Books and stories that include numbers can help too. At story time make a point of counting the characters and the key items in the pictures. Some examples of books are:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Three Little Pigs
These will give reinforcement to the sound of counting and with it the fact that numbers relate to different amounts. Children will then start to notice numbers in speech and begin to develop an understanding of how they are used.
The children may even be able to count by reciting the numbers from 1 - 10, but this has little meaning at this stage. It is a good idea to point out numbers that appear in everyday contexts such as on a clock, a telephone, on doors and money. This will help children to understand that numbers have a practical use, as well helping them to recognise written numbers.