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Counting verbally and one to one

Being able to count verbally to at least 20 will be of great benefit to a child starting school. Practise counting up to 20, and backwards too. One to one counting can also be done incidentally throughout the day, for example counting steps as your child climbs the stairs. You can count anything, for instance how many lampposts are on the street, how many houses have a red door, how many pieces of fruit are in the bowl — and how many did we have yesterday — how many pencils fit in the pencil case, etc. You can also do this when giving things out (for example: “an ice cream for you, an ice cream for Susie and one for me – 1,2,3 ice creams!”).


Encourage reliable one to one counting by showing your child how to point to each item as they count, or to move the items as they count so they do not count each item more than once. This will help your child understand what numbers mean. Ask them to find the same amount of different items. For example, find 3 spoons, 3 hats or 3 socks.


You can also sing counting songs, many of which are available in YouTube.