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How can I help my 4yr old DS learn his numbers

(14 Posts)
Spagblog Wed 17-Sep-08 17:30:10

My DS seems totally unable to recognise all his numbers.
I asked school about it and they think he does know them all - but he doesn't.

I wrote out all the numbers on a piece of paper and then made a game - I shouted out the numbers and he had to go and stand on them.

Then we tried putting the same amount of counters onto the pieces of paper bearing that number

He seems to recognise number 4 and number 1 consistantly, and seems to have the worst trouble with 9, 7, 6 and 5 - but is confused over all of them.

I am totally at a loss and am worried about him starting state school after Xmas now.

He also has no idea about the alphabet. Can recognise S and O, but the rest sad I just don't know what to do.

cornsilk Wed 17-Sep-08 17:35:48

make them out of playdough with him
use cutters and make biscuits - I got a pack of cutters with letters and numbers for £1 from Tesco
Get a salt try and get him to make the shape with his finger

PandaG Wed 17-Sep-08 17:41:06

do the numbers and counters thing again - but with smarties/choc buttons - if he gets it right he gets to eat the smarties - big incentive!

reg plates or door numbers - point out numbers when out for a walk, or say, who can spot a number 1?

make it tactile - draw numbers in a tray full of salt - cut out from sandpaper so he can feel them

but above all, don't stress about it - easy to say I know but true. He will get it eventually, don't worry smile

reallyhoping Wed 17-Sep-08 17:41:11

What you are doing sounds good to me.
Does he have any jig-saws with numbers on? Or dominoes - you can get ones that have dots on one half and numerals on the other.
What about putting number cards up the sides of yours stairs and counting each time you go up them...

I'd also say, don't worry. That is what school is for! But I know that it can be stressful if you think that they are not 'getting it'; he will, just give him time and support.

PandaG Wed 17-Sep-08 17:41:42

meant also cut the no's out from sandpaper, diff from salt.

MaureenMLove Wed 17-Sep-08 17:57:33

Just keep doing, what you're doing. Sounds fine. Maybe add a few more number games whilst you're out. (Bus numbers, door numbers, number plates even) Its all about repetition at that age. The more you do it, the easier it'll be. I'm sure he'll get it by January.

belgo Wed 17-Sep-08 18:01:46

He's only four? My dd1 is four and a half and can't recognise very many numbers, but fortunately we live in Belgium where the schools very sensibly only worry about that sort of thing when children are older.

I personally wouldn't worry, I'm certainly not worrying about my four year old, who also doesn't know her alphabet. By all means carry on with what you are doing, but don't stress.

Spagblog Wed 17-Sep-08 18:31:19

Thanks. I like the idea of the biscuits. He could have a number of the week...Like Sesame Street.

Tonight your pudding has been brought to you by the number...8!

I have been very good in not stressing about it, but lately I just think it must be something I am failing to do.

Smee Thu 18-Sep-08 10:44:40

Let him be - all it means is he's not interested in numbers yet. He doesn't need to know them for school. Some kids start knowing them all, others don't. They all get there though - that's what schools are for after all..

peanutbutterkid Thu 18-Sep-08 10:57:52

What worked for us have been ... little electronic toys, that say "Where's the number 4?", "Hooray" (or whatever) when right button pressed. May seem in bad taste, but kids love them, and they give instant rewards.

EddieStobart Thu 18-Sep-08 10:58:38

sit him in front of numberjacks [slattern]

Dropdeadfred Thu 18-Sep-08 11:12:07

I have been lucky that dd3 has been able to count and recognise numbers from the age of 2.3...she can count amazingly well now and writes/types numbers out accurately (this was much younger than my dd2 but about the same as dd1)

I think what helped was giving her a childs large calculator to play with...it got her interested in numbers and then sh sed to practise writing them or drawing them...we also used to count out pennies/peanuts for feeding squirrels/tns of beans in supermarket, apples in bag etc...anyhing and everything, but only as a game...
All children are wildly different but they do all even out eventually....he will get it but don't let him pick up any stress about him getting it wrong, it will put him off and stop it being a game

dingdong05 Thu 18-Sep-08 11:25:52

There's loads of great ideas on this thread. I think the main thing you can do is repetition and make it fun. Play that game again (I like it btw!) and see how he develops. Just because he can't do it now doesn't mean to say he'll never be able to do it- he is only 4!

I also agree with the view that if you stress it'll only make it worse for him, he will pick up on your stress and it'll stop it being fun.

Numberss can be an everyday part of your life. Get him counting and he can connect the numbers he says with the numbers he sees- 2 different things.

And I also use the numberjacks [snuggles up on the couch with the other slatterns here]

Portofino Thu 18-Sep-08 11:26:46

EddieStobart - this worked excellently on mine! I know it's TV, but I thought it was such a clever idea! By matching a number to a character it makes it so easy for them to remember. And totally stress free...

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