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Friday, February 10, 2012

Teaching Kids to Count

Teaching kids to count. Easy right? I thought my kids had it down. They can go all the way up to 100. They can recognize written numerals up to 20. We add and subtract things on our fingers. In my little world, we're pretty advanced in the number world.

So, when ChildUp offered to send me a few packs of their "Teach Your Child To Count" cards, I actually emailed them back with the message, "Sure, we'll take them, but we already know how to count, so..."

They sent them anyway, and boy am I glad they did.

You see, when my kids have to actually count something, they tend to get too impatient and point at images twice or glaze over items so that they're always one or two off in their final tally. With these cards, the animals are so distinct and separated, I can slow them down. No, you counted that panda twice, or what about the elephant?

Putting recognizable animals to numbers is genius, and these aren't flashcards. There's no memorization involved.

The girls have to associate counting with the final number; nothing is by rote. They can count, add, subtract, and point out differences in animal types and environments.

They're interacting with the cards as if it's a game, unlike the videos we have on counting where they just stare at the screen while an annoying voice-over counts to cartoon images. And the age range is right. Kids really can use the cards from ages one to five. On each card, not only is there counting, but there's also the opportunity to categorize, add and subtract, and the images on the cards walk you through.

I thought we'd be starting at level two, but the cards showed me my awesome parenting/teacher skills had failed where I hadn't realized it. They caught on quickly and will be onto level two by next week, but we never would have gotten to where I already thought we were if not for this activity. There were major gaps in their base, and in math, the base is everything.

I'm super thrilled to have these cards, and I definitely recommend them to anyone looking to teach their kids basic math.

As I mentioned, ChildUp sent me the cards, but the opinions are my true feelings. These are really great cards! (And you know my reviews are usually mixed.)

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