A Comprehensive List Of Tried And Tested Tips For Developing Early Number Skills In Pre-School Kids

A Comprehensive List Of Tried And Tested Tips For Developing Early Number Skills In Pre-School Kids

Children normally start developing number skills from a very young age. You, as a parent, can also help them with their development by including math ideas and skill in their daily list of indoor and outdoor activities. This article can help.

Defining numeracy (or number skills)

Numeracy is the ability of an individual to apply math concepts in different areas of life.

Numeracy skills strongly involve the ability to:

  • Understand numbers,

  • Count numbers,

  • Measure and sort numbers,

  • Notice patterns,

  • Perform arithmetic operations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

We all require a reasonable amount of number skills to perform several daily life activities such as:

  • Solving real-life problems.

  • Analyzing information and grasping the meaning of the same.

  • Understanding patterns.

  • Making choices.

Similarly, your kid’s everyday experiences have full of learning opportunities that can very well lay the foundations for practical numeracy skills, in general. You will just have to keep your eyes open and use those situations to your advantage. The following list can also help.

Talking and learning

1. Use math concepts to explain the things that you and your child are doing (or seeing) together. For example:

           “That is a beautiful LITTLE kitten.”

           “Look at that BIG white ball.”

            There, you have your “sizes” sorted in those two statements alone.

2. Point out speed limits on road signs. Make your child aware of the fact that you need to drive at a speed below the designated limit for maximum driving safety. From there, you can even divert your discussion to “distance, speed, and time” which is an important math concept, on the whole.

3. Point out the different addresses and phone numbers recorded in your phone directory. Encourage him/her to find out a common factor (like the ISD code or the Pincode) among the same. This can help him/her learn the different ways of identifying patterns in the long run.

4. When preparing food, talk about what you are doing at that precise moment in time. For example,

I’m cutting this apple in HALF.”
What does “Half” mean? Point that to him/her next.

5. Talk about your routine activities in accordance with time. For example,

We usually have dinner at 8:30pm.”

Making numeracy a part of your kid’s daily life activities

  1. Try to inculcate counting into your child’s everyday activities. Encourage him/her to count anything starting from toys to shells, to fruits, to trees, to birds, etc.

  2. Encourage your child to compare sizes and shapes of objects on his/her own, like comparing the shapes/sizes of stones, trees, houses, bushes, etc.

  3. Involve your child in cooking. S/He can help with the stirring, pouring, filling, and the mixing part of the job. These activities can help your child develop essential number skills including the likes of counting, measuring, adding, and estimating things as per requirement.

Playing and learning

Source- Flickr

  1. Play guessing games with your child. These are fun and enlightening at one, and the same time. For example:

Take five chips (or more) in your hand and let him/her count the same. Then tell him/her to close his/her eyes.

Remove several chips at your back and ask him/her to correctly guess the number of chips you are holding at the moment. If s/he gets it right, s/he gets an extra scoop of the ice-cream.

  1. Help your kid arrange his/her toys in order from the largest to the smallest.

  2. Try board games, puzzles, card games, LEGOs, etc. involving a whole lot of numbers and other math skills.

  3. Read books (preferably, with numbers) in a rhythmic pattern. This can help your kid identify patterns from daily life activities.

Reading and learning

The following list of books features a whole bunch of numbers in a rhythmic order for pre-school reading. Include them in your child’s daily reading list to maximize efficiency in the long run.

  • The very hungry caterpillar- Eric Carle

  • Ten little ladybugs- Melanie Gerth

  • One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish- Dr. Seuss

  • Ten little fingers and ten little toes- Mem Fox

  • Ten little dinosaurs- Mike Brownlow.

  • Counting kisses- Karen Katz

  • One woolly wombat- Kerry Argent


So that’s basically it. It’s time we sign off for the time being. If you have anything to add to the list above, do not hesitate to do it in the “comments” section below. We will be more than happy to hear from you.


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