Do you have special games or phrases you use with your child for counting by twos or by pairs, that you’d like to share with us?
When you first introduce your child to counting by more than one, keep it simple. An ideal way to begin is with the concept of twos, because many real life objects come in pairs. To the extent that people have pairs of shoes, socks, and pajamas, counting by pairs is a holistic way to help your child develop an interest in sets that have similarities, such as a right and left shoe.
Remember that rhyming words almost always appeal to a child’s curiosity, so inviting your child to join in on rhyming is fun and makes everyone happy. Don’t worry if your child says ‘close-to-rhyming’ words, you can do that too, and one funny word leads to another! You can come back to pairs of things gradually. To make pairs rhyming an ongoing game, you can always begin with someone’s funny shoes, maybe grandpa’s old boots, or Mom’s clogs. Two! Shoes! Blue! Who? You? Goo! When you practice twos and rhymes together, your child is learning important vocabulary and pronunciation also.
From two as a pair, you can introduce another pair. This helps us go from two to four. Once this is understandable in your home, several things that are the same can be paired. By the time you get to a higher number, you can gradually count things with a “little story” emphasis on pairs. This adds a little dimension to rhymes with a story-like context. Fully spontaneous, it is surprising what we can invent as we go.
Young children also enjoy exploring two eyes and two ears. The childhood song, Head and shoulders, knees and toes has many versions around the world, but delights all children, as they seek to identify these parts of their body while moving along with the melody.
Tongue twisters for young children might include three or 4 word strings, again, fun and nonsense go together in word and number play. For example: two – twigs – twirl can become an outdoor game. How many child-centered things can you do with two twirling twigs? You’d be surprised! There are wonderfous counting resources available in nature and out of doors. There are leaves, nuts (acorns are especially fun) sticks, pebbles, clover, fruits, pots, garden tools, flowers…
When you’re traveling, or on the go, and your child needs something to do, this is the perfect time for discovery using an educational app. Starting with basic numbers you cannot go wrong! You can also make traveling a more pleasant experience for everyone with a couple of engaging apps. Our favorite for beginning numbers and colors is the Agnitus Learning Games for Preschool and Kindergarten.
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