How can I support my child to recognise numerals?

Q

How can I support my child to recognise numerals?

A

Numbers or numerals are all around us. They tell us the time, how long to cook things for, which car is ours, show us where we live and remind us how old we are! Numerals are integral to our daily lives. Like learning to recognise the written letters of the alphabet (graphemes), children learn how to recognise the written symbols of numbers (numerals). Different cultures around the world write their numerals in different ways, but they all represent quantities, an amount that has been ‘counted’. Numerals record that amount. Roman numerals still feature today in our vocabulary, C for century and M for millennium, for example.

You can help children learn that numerical symbols are different from letter symbols by talking with them about the numbers you see at home, in the shops, in the car, and in your local environment. Explain to children the purpose of why those numerals are there, for example, on a measuring jug or on coins and money, on calendars or on letters that arrive at the house. This will help them to understand that numerals are giving us information about a quantity such as the number of houses in a road or the amount of milk to use in a recipe. Play games with numbers and different ways of representing them such a dice with spots one with numerals. Board games, where children count a corresponding number of spaces, are a great way to introduce the use of different dice and help their counting skills too.

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