Children need a good understanding of numbers and number relationships for in order to cope well with maths in school, developing their skills in logical thinking and problem solving.
Number skills can be learnt at a very early age by engaging in simple activities.
• Number sense
for younger children, focus on numbers 1 to 5, involving:
counting fingers or objects with your child,
number rhymes and songs,
number games to develop number recognition.
• Number formation
Scribbling and colouring activities are highly encouraged for good pencil control.
Accurate number writing can be developed by tracing, then copying. Forming the numbers with a pencil on paper is good practice for the child’s recall and writing style. Encourage them gradually to count recognise and write their numbers up to 20, with the ability to recognise any of the numbers randomly.
• Number sequence
Generally, numbers form patterns. Once a student is able to write up to 20, progression to 100 is generally easy when children see and appreciate the pattern. Progression to 100 becomes very easy, and, with a little guidance and supervision, 3 to 4-year olds can write easily up to 1,200.
Check how many numbers your child can write comfortably each day. This could be 20, 30, 50…
Get them to write the same set of numbers each day until they are fluent and totally accurate. Then move on to the next set. For example, if your child completes 1 to 30 with no mistakes, start on 31 to 60 and so on.
A thorough understanding of numbers serves as a good foundation for their mental addition and subtraction strategies, as well as higher level maths skills. Above all, they start off CONFIDENT.