My daughter has difficulty reading two-digit numbers. Any ideas?


In some languages (e.g., Chinese), spoken numbers correspond exactly to their written equivalent. English number names, however, are irregular making them more difficult to learn. You can help your daughter by first focusing on numbers 11-20. These numbers are unique in that they do not follow any sort of pattern. Make a game out of finding these numbers throughout the day – whether it be on a road sign or at the grocery store – and practice reading them out loud with her. Once your child has mastered 11-20, you can move onto 21-40, and eventually 41-100. These numbers do follow a more predictable pattern and involve appending the word “one” to “nine” to each multiple of ten. You can help her practice reading and recognizing these numbers by playing games like Bingo and Snakes and Ladders.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

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