Homeschooling a 2-year-old toddler: Counting activities

Last week, Mishika turned two years old (this post was written in the last week of November 2020)! We had taken a break from homeschooling two weeks ago as it was Diwali festival time here in India and within a week was Mishika’s birthday. I tried to sync her vacation with the schools around.

So, after our break, we started her home preschool today. She was all excited and so was I. We went over numbers from our previous sessions but since she was off school for sometime, it involved a lower attention span and more naughtiness today… LOL. I absolutely did not mind it as we all had been unwell since her birthday on 20th November. So the energy levels were low and she needed to have fun.

Mishika knows numbers till 20 (not necessarily in sequence all the time) and the focus now is to help her count. This happens in our day-to-day activities as well. However, I planned a little systematic way. I placed colourful wooden chips from her new toy on the table in order of one to five. It became more fun and interactive as, along with numbers and counting, she also took interest in the colours and shapes, which she is pretty good at now (Do check out our YouTube video on charts to see how it became really easy for her.)

How to go about counting in a fun way:
Place one object.
Place two objects next to it while counting. So on and so forth.
While doing so let your kid watch you count and encourage to repeat after you.
Now ask the toddler to point to one object, two objects, etc.

Help them count by saying one square, two squares, etc. Also emphasise on the plural bit. So they start registering plurals if they are comfortable with it. Similarly, continue till five. If you have any counting related flash cards, books, activity kits or charts, use them as well. My recommendation is that do not force kids to learn something if they are not very keen at that moment. Try again after a few days.

Then, during the week you start teaching counting, remember to include the concept of counting things in your daily activities. Count food/snack items, diapers, toys, people… whatever you feel like but just make it interesting for them and not like studying per se.

For example:
You just ate one raisin, now these are 2, these are 3…
How many pillows can you see on this sofa?
Can you show me 4 fingers please?
How many bottles are there on this table?

Keep toys in order of one to five. Remember we are learning counting not numbers (which is the previous step). Keep pieces of food in order, or their socks or ask them to keep three socks or random numbers. Let them go with the flow and make it fun. Just keep it casual and don’t worry if they take time to pick up. If they are not ready for this yet, you’ll know. Try the next week or later and focus on something else.

Happy parenting. Happy homeschooling!

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