Teaching your child to count sounds like an easy task, but just like any catchy tune, a child is able to repeat the words in an ordinal series, yet, not actually grasp the concept of a numerical value. There are many resources to teach the value of a number. Your local library or bookstore will have several number concept books, workbooks, charts, and manipulatives that are useful in teaching them that the number one actually means one object (or has a value), the number two – two objects, etc. (though, as for manipulatives {any small objects  grouped or manipulated with the hands}, almost anything in your house is useful, such as dry beans, cotton balls, toys, etc.). Understanding numbers comes easier in this order: Learning the numbers 1-5, 1-10, 1-20, counting by 10’s, 1-50, counting by 5’s, 1-100, and finally skip counting by 2’s.

As soon as a child understands one level he/she can confidently go to the next. A parent must continue reviewing earlier concepts, such as counting and understanding the values of 1-5, while continuing forward to teach the numbers 6-10. Understanding the value behind the numbers 1-20 is the foundation to learning the value behind all numbers. When you get past counting  20 objects, learning to count by 10’s becomes more understandable and important.  Counting by 10's will not only help a child understand the order of the numbers 1-100, but is also helpful  in addition problems later. Afterwards, counting up the rest of the 100’s chart one-by-one should come a little easier since counting by 10’s is mastered at this point. Practice and repetition are key!

For a parent or child it may become monotonous to count to 100 on a daily basis, so change it up a bit and have fun with it.  Fun ways to count are clapping at every number, cheering on the 10's, standing and spinning when you get to the 5’s or any specific number you or the child suggests, such as, any number with a 3 in the one’s place. This will keep the child attentive to the 100’s chart while you are reciting the numbers together. One of my favorites is to raise your arms at every 5’s mark (5, 10, 15, 20…) and wiggle your hands (like sign language for clapping).

By now, your child is well on their way to being a confident counter! The last concept in this series of learning is counting by 2’s.  It is possible that this is as difficult as counting by 5’s, but having your child grouping manipulatives  by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s can really help you as you teach skip counting.  Once grouped do not count the items one by one, but rather, by the skip counting order you are reviewing (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, …).

 If you haven’t noticed already, your K or 1st grade level child will not have only learned their numbers from 1-100, but has also learned their very first multiplication tables!  Later, when using the “x” (times) sign in a multiplication problem, the answers to the one’s, two’s, five’s, and ten’s multiplication tables will come faster!

Great job taking control of your child's education!