Helping Your Child with Numbers and Sums

Teacher and Supernanny expert Sandy Fazio shares some easy and effective ways you can help your young child with numbers and simple sums.

How to help your child with numeracy

The key numeracy skills for children under 5 are: recognising numbers 1-5, then to 10 and beyond, and putting these numbers in order; talking about one more or less than a given number; counting objects, one at a time; using the language of addition and subtraction using objects; and most importantly, putting these skills into a real problem-solving context.

Schools focus on talking through number problems using mathematical language, and on problem solving skills. The main thing to remember when teaching your child about numbers is to make it fun and purposeful. Numeracy skills can be linked into most activities your child already enjoys doing.

Here are some ideas:

Food is a great incentive! Cereal like Cheerios, or dry pasta can be counted out before it’s eaten. Decorate biscuits or fairy cakes with raisins or sweets and count them.
Act out number songs using fingers, puppets, soft toys or plastic animals. Talk about what number comes before or after a given number. Use a number line as a visual aid. Some favourites are “Five Green Frogs,” “Five Fat Sausages,” “One Elephant,” “Five Little Monkeys,” “Five Ducks” and “Two Little Monkeys”.