Introduction to Numbers
We are surrounded by numbers every day, whether it’s the hours we work, the amount of time we read, or the marks in the exam. Everything is defined by numbers. Counting and numbers are two of the most basic mathematical concepts.
Learning numbers is an important skill to acquire in pre-primary education as it is a necessity for further understanding mathematical concepts. The introduction of numbers in preschool age aids in reinforcing the foundation required for computing complex mathematical problems later.
In mathematics, a number represents a quantity and can be used to calculate it. There are different types of numbers like natural numbers, whole numbers, even numbers, odd numbers, cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers, rational numbers, integers, decimals, prime numbers etc.
The initial step to befriend numbers is to learn to count. Counting numbers can be taught to kids as early as preschool. Counting numbers is used in day-to-day life for things like counting cookies, candies, toys, or even body parts (eyes, ears, fingers, etc.). Kids should be taught counting in different levels at specific ages of learning.
Counting basically includes the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, as combinations of these 10 digits are used to form all numbers. There can be infinite numbers. Counting is the ability to recite numbers in order.
Backwards and Forward counting
Backward counting is the process of counting in reverse order. Backward counting is always done by removing one number every time. When we count backwards, the number decreases while on counting forward, the number increases.
Learning backward counting develops a child’s brain for future complex calculations and mental math problems.
Example : Forward counting from 1 looks like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6 and so on.
Backwards counting from 10 looks like 10, 9, 8, 7 and so on.
Let’s begin by discovering some ways to teach numbers and counting to our young learners in a fun and interesting ways :
Teaching counting with kid friendly, clear and easy to understand posters from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs :
Download free printable teaching resources from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs for a better understanding of counting.
Teaching counting through stories from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs :
Teaching forward and backwards counting by play – way method :
Play and sing aloud :
Forward and backwards counting can be introduced by playing videos of popular rhymes for kids like 1, 2, buckle my shoe (forward counting) and five little monkeys jumping on the bed (backwards counting), and encouraging kids to sing aloud with the videos for better practise of the concept.
Snake & Ladder :
Snake & ladder is a classic game that everyone enjoys. This game is great for teaching numbers up to 100 as well as having a great family time.
Snakes and Ladders board, 1 die, Playing pieces
- Teams of 1 player each are formed and allowed to select their playing piece.
- Each team rolls a die and moves forward on the board as per the number on the die.
- If while moving any player lands on the ladder, then climbs up.
- If the player lands on the snake bite, then he moves down at the tail of the snake.
- The player who reaches 100 first is the winner.
Teaching forward and backwards counting by hands – on activities :
Number blocks and legos in the basket :
Toddlers and early learners enjoy playing with Legos. These can be creatively used to enhance their numeracy skills. This activity also helps build motor skills in kids.
- Put legos or blocks in front of the kids and guide them to count each one and keep it in the basket. (forward counting). For example : 1, 2,3,….., 20.
- Similarly, kids can be guided to take out each block by counting backwards. For example : 20, 19, 18, …….,1.
Help your kids to practise forward and backwards counting by interesting and fun worksheets and solutions from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs.