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At what age does a child start to count?

(30 Posts)
RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 10:10:33

Wondered how old your DC was/were when they started to count/recognise numbers.

Chundle Mon 18-Jul-11 10:25:26

My dd is 23 months if we start counting she will say 'two' but that's it as far as counting goes

cookingupababy Mon 18-Jul-11 10:30:39

At nursery it can be very early, e.g a 18 -20 month old counts a blast off for a rocket, he/she is really only copying number names but will say numbers in the correct sequence, this usually goes up to 2 - 2 1/2 years. At 2-3+ they begin to learn that they are numbers and apply to quantities, and usually make guesses of how many are there, usually a stab in the dark. So many two years can count up to 10 and above but can't actually count objects.

reallytired Mon 18-Jul-11 10:31:57

Some children can count by rote from 18 months if they are sufficently hothoused. It is a bit like reciting a nursery rhyme and they have no clue what 1,2,3,4.. means. Doultless a pathological liar mumsnetter from the gifted and talented section will tell me that their could count with understanding from two months old. A child of two years old can be trained to recongise flash cards if anyone can be arsed.

Ds started to recongise numbers and have some understand what it meant from about four years old. Ie he understood that 3 was less than 4 and he could count a small number of objects.

DD is 27 months and doesn't have a clue yet. She can sing nursery rhymes but doesn't understand 1,2,3,4,5.

cookingupababy Mon 18-Jul-11 10:32:37

Sorry when i say a blast off for a rocket song, i mean he/she may count 1,2,3,4,5, blast off, but usually they have no understanding of the numbers.

pozzled Mon 18-Jul-11 10:37:05

DD was a bit under 2 for saying 1-10 in order. About 2 and a half for using number names in context and counting small amounts (up to 3 or 4). She is now almost three and can usually count up to about 6, but still makes the occasional mistake. She doesn't recognise any numbers yet.

swallowedAfly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:39:51

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ThePippy Mon 18-Jul-11 10:44:28

DD can count (and point to the items as she counts so is definitely relating to numbers of things) up to 6 without a problem and sometimes a bit further although that is more inconsistent (jumps from 6 to 9 for example sometimes) and she is 23 months. Has been able to do this to varying degrees for 2-3 months, but then her language development has always been slightly ahead so I don't think this is the norm for counting. I have a friend who's boy couldn't (or maybe wouldn't) talk by the time he was almost 4 yrs (they were very concerned and had him at all kinds of specialists) then suddenly just started talking perfectly (in french and english as he had parents of each) and is now at 14/15 treated as a high achiever at school. So I don't really think there is a "norm" to be honest and like most early developments it should be taken with a pinch of salt unless there are other behaviours to suggest other problems.

swallowedAfly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:49:06

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RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 10:54:01

Thanks for the responses! The reason I asked is because MIL is convinced our DS is some kind of freaky genius because he can count to thirteen (he's 19 months). He recognises the numbers when he sees them but has absolutely no concept of what they actually mean or are for. He will point to a group of objects and 'count them out' by saying "One, two, three, four", but he's just as likely to say "Eight, nine, ten, eleven".

I can happily report to MIL that she needn't book him in for his Maths GCSE just yet!

LaWeasel Mon 18-Jul-11 10:55:52

DD is two and a bit and is starting to be able to count a smallish number of things. With larger amounts she still jumps around and skips numbers sometimes.

She doesn't recognise written numbers though.

I was having a pootle on a science blog which asserted that children (whether or not they can 'rote' count or recognise the figures - don't really understand what numbers represent (ie 4 equals 4 of a thing) until they are about three.

Some children are really interested in numbers and will want to practice/play with them earlier than others - as with most things, it doesn't really mean very much long term.

RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 10:56:58

Swallowedfly that's it exactly, he's just got good memory retention. His favourite book is a big sparkly one with all the numbers in which he insists on reading 80 times a day which is why he's learnt them so quickly. What annoys me is that she insists on making him say all his numbers out loud to everyone she knows, like a performing seal. I know she's just proud but it makes her look like she's showing off, especially when she does it to other mothers and it makes me cringe a bit.

swallowedAfly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:57:45

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tooyoo Mon 18-Jul-11 10:58:14

I think it vary's widely. My ds was able to understand numbers, count to 20, could understand them in order or out of order by 24 months old and at about 26 months old he could understand quantities and understand simple additions ie. 1 and 2 makes 3. To all those cynics- no he wasnt hothoused, he just loves numbers and the alphabet-at 26 months old he also knew the alphabet in and out of order and could spell his name.

swallowedAfly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:59:14

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LaWeasel Mon 18-Jul-11 11:03:17

My MIL is convinced that DD is a genius because she could draw near perfect circles at just before 2.

I think grandparents just love having something to show off about!

sapphirestar Mon 18-Jul-11 11:04:08

DD is 2.9 and can count to twenty. She also counts objects, 'look mummy, i've got 3 biscuits', and recognises numbers 1-10 written down. But she's gone to nursery since she was 6months and I think it's a big factor in her development

DDs 1 and 2 could both count and understand what they were doing by about 2½. DS was closer to 3½ before I could confidently say that he knew and understood his numbers up to 10/20. DDs 1 and 2 are both exceptionally bright and maths has always been a strong subject for them (they are now A levels and AS levels).

DD3 is almost 2½ and can shout random numbers out. Sometimes in order sometimes not. I think she can grasp what 1, 2 and 3 mean, but that's it. I really couldn't care a toss as I'm pretty sure she'll be able to count at some stage. She will count the stairs with me, but that's by rote rather than anything else. The only thing she is very capable of doing is recognising shapes, but I would say that's more down to 'Mister Makers' shapes and the fact that she asks me repeatedly to draw shapes for her

I think so many people try to compare their DC with their friends' ones, it's a shame. They all do what they can do, some are better than others and that is very evident with my own four children. Not one milestone has been achieved at the same time with any of them - they be what they be imo.

jellybeans Mon 18-Jul-11 11:14:38

My DS was quite abit below 2 when he could count to 10 and he has been very advanced with speech and knows the alphabet pretty good. My older DSs were much older but they all tend to catch up to about the same somewhere around 6 from what I have seen. So it is probably the earlier end of the spectrum.

jellybeans Mon 18-Jul-11 11:21:13

Forgot to add he has never been to nursery (goes weekly toddler group), he has 4 older sibs though and watches some good programmes, plays games as well as read to etc etc so it is not always learned from being in nursery early.

Lindaguerra27 Tue 29-Nov-16 10:20:00

My 2/8months toddler can count to 10 and also can count objects. Aswell as most of the color when asked pointing at the color object, he knows some of his shapes and tell the difference of all his balls like football, basketball, baseball ect. He also knows some Spanish. He is doing great I believe.🤓

FraterculaArctica Tue 29-Nov-16 10:24:35

DS is 2.8 and can count to 20 (but misses out 14 and 15!), will make a reasonable stab at counting objects up to 10 if he's in the right frame of mind, and can recognise all single-digit numbers. Much better at numbers than letters.

claraschu Tue 29-Nov-16 10:26:56

Some kids are fascinated by symbols and do have a lot of understanding from an early age. One of my boys was very precocious in their way and, if I started telling you what he could do at 24-26 months, people would think I was lying or had "hothoused" him. He is grown up now and has always been very good at maths.

TheInternetIsForPorn Tue 29-Nov-16 10:27:07

My just two year old counts along to 1,2,3 with us and asks for 2 and 3 numbered blankies. He's just starting and it's just copying really.

SpidersFromMars Tue 29-Nov-16 10:29:43

At 18 months she can figure out if her sister has 5 sweets and she only has 3!
I don't think that's counting!?

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