My almost 3.5 yr old DD can't count to 3, is this unusual?

(18 Posts)
Zembo Sat 09-Jan-10 20:31:37

I'm not trying to teach her to count,just sometimes try counting as part of play or bathtime etc...she basically goes 1, 2, and then any random number.

I don't think its anything to worry about, but it upsets DH. Our DD seems to be happy anway!

OP’s posts: |
thecloudhopper Sun 10-Jan-10 13:17:14

Do you meen counting out objects as in 1,2,3 ducks or do you meen counting by rote as in 12345678910?

Usually children of 3 and a half can count by rote to 10 but can count out between 3 and 4 objects.

Does your child go to pre-school or nursery? If she does I would ask them to see what they think.
This may be something she is just stuck on and I would not worry and I would do lots of singing counting rhymes, I would also count lots of different things as and when appropreat for example if only a few how many ducks on the pond etc.

TheHappyCat Sun 10-Jan-10 22:14:59

I wouldn't worry but if you haven't taught her, or counted out in front of her, you can't expect her to have taught herself... Just as cloudhopper says, count things out - building blocks, dolls, whatever is to hand, if she says a random number, count them in front of her, 1,2,3,4 etc.

mumoutandabout Tue 12-Jan-10 19:59:29

No it isn't unusual, children all develop differently at different rates.

thecloudhopper Wed 13-Jan-10 18:19:04

mumoutandabout although I agree with you that children do develop differntly I would have a slight concern if you look at development charts etc.

mumoutandabout Wed 13-Jan-10 19:37:44

This is an honest and straightfoward question: which developmental charts are you referring to? I'm always keen to learn more about what people are thinking.

mumoutandabout Wed 13-Jan-10 19:38:20

Thanks in advance cloudhopper...

Zembo Wed 13-Jan-10 20:54:06

Thanks for the replies - I mean counting out objects thecloudhopper - although she can't count by rote either.

We do sing counting songs etc but I haven't pushed it at all - she goes to nursery 3 days a week so will ask them what they think.

She seems bright in other ways, although hard to know at this stage - and doesn't eeveryone think they're children are bright smile. My DH is very bright (oxbridge educated surgeon) so perhaps he's a bit too keen for her to be good at counting!
I'd also be interested to know what developmental charts you're referring to.

OP’s posts: |
atworknotworking Wed 13-Jan-10 21:05:12

I agree with cloudhopper yes children all develop differently but at this age I would expect a child to be counting reliably to 10. Developmental norms hmm suggest that by age 4 child should be able to count to 20.

Although I use milestones as a guide (I'm a CM btw) I don't always agree with the you should be able to do this that or the other brigade.

I have worked with a lot of children over the years and tend to be guided by the whole child not just one aspect of development, however I have to admit that I would be concerned if a child who was 3.5 couldn't count to 3. I'm sure it's not unheard of but I would definately use some of the suggestions posted, like counting in play, rhymes etc.

Does your DD go to pre-school? or have you noticed any other areas that you think DD may need some encouragement with.

If it helps quite often I notice that children who are excellent talkers tend to be not so interested in numbers and vice versa.

I aim for all my mindees to be able to rote count, forwards and backwards, recognise numbers 1-10, complete 1st 4 phonic phases and in most cases write their first name by the time they are ready for reception at 4. I currently have a two year old who can count to 40, backwards from 10, recognise some letters / numbers and has completed phase 1 phonic actions. On the other hand I have a mindee 2wks older who doesn't talk much, isn't interested in numbers but is good with phonics. I think you have to find what works with each child and expand on their interests.

mumoutandabout Wed 13-Jan-10 22:30:45

Don't worry about these expectations Zembo. My child is 4 and 4 months. She's very bright, she is just interested in other things and picks up on 'being tested' by adults - and doesn't want to 'perform' to order.

thecloudhopper Wed 13-Jan-10 22:45:52

The chart I quote is a development 1 for foundation phase ( welsh curriculum 3-7). You can get a free copyt on the Welshj asembly website. I do agree that not all children of three can do this or are ready.

thecloudhopper Wed 13-Jan-10 22:48:18

Counting out 3 objects she seems right on target, if she is happy and takes things in the I would not worry.

mumoutandabout Thu 14-Jan-10 11:58:11

Thanks for the reference, I don't know if everyone knows this, but the Welsh EYFS system is very different from the English one (and much better I understand)...


NRatcliffe Wed 03-Feb-10 02:20:25

I'm not an expert, but I feel that your daughter could be able to do it, and that she should learn. Perhaps she knows the answer but doesn't realise the concept of testing, as someone else has commented, ie she doesn't realise it's important for adults to hear that she can do something. If she's going to go to school and do exams, she will need to learn to give the correct answer when asked. This will do her incredibly well in school, or at least it seemed to help me (although I had to learn to hold back now and then to let others put their hands up).

At the mo I'm teaching my daughter to count which is why i thought I'd try and answer this. I don't know if this applies to you but I've been really afraid of telling my daughter that she's got the wrong answer, ie she's saying the wrong number. This has affected her learning to talk because I've been afraid to tell her her pronunciation is wrong, in case I offend her. However now I've realised this, things are improving.

I teach her to count as we walk up the stairs, with one number for each step. She keeps trying to start with 'two', so I have to say, 'No, one comes first!'. She sometimes tries to say 'two' twice. I have to say 'no, three comes next!' i try to be calm and gentle but firm, (basically not nasty or critical). Plain, simple instructions at her age.

But as your daughter's older maybe you'll have to explain why, eg. just say 'It's important that you learn to say these numbers in the right order'. Show her a computer keyboard, or a phone keypad - anything in real life that she needs to learn how to use, so she can understand why she needs to learn it. It also makes the learning multi sensory - the written out numbers provide a visual aid to her memory, and the real life object makes it more fun, a learning goal eg. learning to phone a family member, etc etc.

While you're teaching her, you may as well teach her to recognise the numbers in writing, even write them herself if she can hold a pen. You could make clear, bold flashcards (I think black and white is better for photographic memory and recognition than the modern vividly coloured stuff but you may disagree). There are some cbeebies programmes eg numberjacks but personally I find them a bit chaotic in terms of memory recall and visual stimulation but perhaps it's because I'm from an older generation!

My daughter has a good memory and I think what she's doing when she says the wrong number during our counting game is testing me. Perhaps she is wondering why things have to be in a certain order.

The concept of putting things in order is quite central to our british education system. I personally find that having an order helps me to remember things better as well, but I have a visual memory so a visual aid might help. Does your kiddie know the colours of the rainbow in order, or the letters of the alphabet? If not then these could be extension activities to dabble into that will set her up for school.

I hope this is helpful? xxx

mathanxiety Wed 03-Feb-10 02:49:05

I never corrected any of my DCs' number order or pronunciation or grammar as we did little singsongs or went upstairs or downstairs counting, or counted objects, or chatted together. I just repeated what I was saying/teaching, and they learned gradually by my constant repetition.

I was wary of them confusing learning with behaviour modification -- 'No' was a word I didn't use for numbers or pronunciation or grammar mistakes, partly because they do tend to have a built-in tendency to be oppositional at the very same age that you try to teach them so much of the basics of numbers and language, and I didn't want that dynamic interfering with their grasp and use of what I was informally teaching. I just repeated a phrase using correct grammar as a question, which the DCs usually answered correctly. So they learned almost as a conversation rather than as a formal lesson; it was more like play, less like mum telling obstinate little people things they didn't want to hear.

There are lots of manipulatives you can use; these can be used in many ways to teach numbers ascending and descending as well as many other concepts, and I found them useful all through the early school years too. An abacus is an old fashioned but very useful visual aid also.

Pestonia Wed 26-Aug-20 18:51:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

user686833 Tue 29-Dec-20 00:46:49

@Pestonia my counting skills aren't all that great, but I reckon the OP's daughter is at least in year 10 of high school by now so probably mastered counting beyond 3 already.

jessstan1 Tue 29-Dec-20 00:49:46

I wouldn't worry, especially if you haven't taught her to count.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in