# Math Teaching Your Four-Year-Old Numbers and Counting

Even before school starts, young children are learning math through daily routines and activities. They are excited when they recognize numbers in their environment and enjoy simple activities such as counting blocks or toy cars. These activities build a foundation for more complex mathematical concepts in the future. There are many easy ways you can help your four-year-old feel confident and excited about math, including reading counting books together or spotting numbers at the grocery store.

## Instill a love of numbers at an early age:

### Play Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun physical activity that helps reinforce number recognition for young children. Is the weather not cooperating for a sidewalk chalk version? You can make an indoor hopscotch board using flattened cardboard boxes, an old shower curtain, or a disposable tablecloth! Simply use a permanent marker to make the squares and have your child write the numbers. Your child can then use a small bean bag or stuffed toy to throw onto the board and hop his way through counting.

#### Flower Garden

Curious George is growing a flower garden. Your child can practice counting skills by counting flowers with George.

Numbers aren't just for counting — they are also for labeling. Teach your child the street number on your home. Explain how buildings are numbered on every street and take a walk around your neighborhood, pointing out the numbers on homes, businesses and signs.

#### Banana 411

George is learning his numbers. Your child can practice number recognition skills by dialing the numbers the Man in the Yellow Hat calls out and then watching a short video.

### Set the Table

Practice math skills at mealtime! Ask your child to help set the table by telling her how many forks, plates and napkins she needs to count. Encourage her to count as she places each item on the table (one fork, two forks, three forks . . .).

#### 321 Snack

Your child can practice counting skills as she helps feed Cat the right number of snacks by selecting the quantity that matches the requested number.

### Master the "Tricky Teens"

Your child might be close to counting to 20 at this point. However, most children get stuck somewhere around "13, 14, 15, 16" — skipping numbers or jumbling the order. You can help by practicing these teen numbers the most and making a number line for your child to visualize the teens in order.

#### The Peg + Cat Big Jig Flipbook

Your child can practice number and counting skills while making Peg and Cat dance in this simple to put together printable flip book.

### Count Backward from 10

Just as with counting up to 10, number songs are a great way to help kids catch on to counting backward. You can also watch the numbers counting down on a microwave or digital timer to explore this concept. Or pretend to set off rockets with a countdown from 10!