Young children have great imaginations and love to play. When it comes to teaching your child to count, embracing these two facts will help you ensure they learn.
Make counting fun
A piggy bank is a great way for a child to learn about money and the importance of saving. But, it can also help them learn to count. Have your child choose their own bank – maybe one in the shape of their favorite animal or one that depicts characters from their favorite movie – or help them create their own.
Once your child has their bank, regularly give them spare change to count. While very young children won’t be able to read or understand the value of each coin, they can still count the number of coins they’re putting in their bank. Plus, for the littlest ones, inserting the coin into the bank is a great way to help develop their fine motor skills.
When their bank is full, trade in the coins for bills and make a deposit into their savings account.
Experts agree that children around the age of three begin to engage in fantasy play. Use their budding imagination to your advantage when teaching them how to count.
Your child is likely beginning to build a basic understanding of the exchange of money for goods by joining you on trips to the store. Talk to them about how we use money to pay for things we want and need. Then set up a pretend store at home using toys, play food, or other safe objects you have on hand. Buy or make play money and take turns being the shopper and the cashier with your child. You can count the number of items you’re buying and the number of bills or coins you have.
If playing store doesn’t interest your child, consider what they do like. Find ways to show them how money works and practice counting. Maybe your child likes to watch you cook. If so, you can have them play restaurant, make you a certain amount of each food item (“Two ice cream cones, please!” “Three pancakes!”) and act out paying for your meal.