When do kids really learn to count?

As with reading and talking, parents can introduce mathematical thinking from the start. Counting everyday objects (stairs, blocks, snacks) is a fun beginning. Some toddlers may even repeat a few numbers or memorize a sequence of numbers, though this is usually by rote, rather than a true understanding of numbers or counting. This is the numerical equivalent of singing the ABCs and can be boosted by learning a counting song. Between the ages of two and four, children's ability to understand the actual concept of numbers and counting improves dramatically. Most children are counting up to ten, or even beyond, by age four. Skips in counting (1, 2, 3, 6...), however, are not uncommon even through kindergarten. There is a wide range of skills during the toddler years, with some children showing more interest in certain skills than in others. As long as you are exposing your child to counting and numbers, there is no need to worry if your toddler is not yet counting to a certain number.

Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at http://NaturallyEducational.com. While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.