Learning Through Play
Playing games is a good way for your child to learn to recognise numbers. For one such game you can use some number cards.
Give your child a pile of counters or buttons. Hold up one of the cards and ask him or her to give you that number of counters. At first you can say the number as you show the card but later just hold it up for the child to look at. He or she can check by putting the counters over spots on the reverse of the card.
Developing the ability to estimate is also a useful skill. Asking a child to guess how many items are on a tray will help to develop this. Always count them out together afterwards, so that the child can see how close he or she was.
Recognising the Symbols
A fun way to help recognition of numbers is to select a few number cards. Take one from the pile without letting your child see it. Ask him or her to guess which one you have as you gradually expose the number from behind a screen (eg. a book) If your child guesses wrongly explain what the number is. Introduce a few numbers at first and build up slowly.
Some children will want to start writing numbers themselves as soon as they can recognise them. Adults should make sure that they encourage children to form their numbers correctly as incorrect letter formation can be very difficult to correct later. Encourage your child to look for a number to copy. Print out our number formation guide intended for parent or carer information.