One of our favourite authors is Julia Donaldson.
Christmas 2016 bought our now long time favourite ‘Stickman’ into our little library as an introduction to one of our cherished English authors. With a poetic flow, the words almost dance with rhyme and repetition – two very attractive features for young children.
When choosing a book from the shelf to read, I must admit to getting a bit excited to discover that Julia is also the author of ‘One Ted Falls Out of Bed’. Straight away I knew the kids would love it – it’s a Julia Donaldson, why wouldn’t they? With Miss 4s blossoming love of numbers, this was going to be the perfect tale for the days story tray.
‘One Ted Who Falls Out of Bed’ by Julia Donaldson is a story of a ted who, funnily enough, fell out of bed. Greeted by some new friends and invited to play, the dear little bear is taken on an adventure before they attempt to return him back to the top side of the bed.
There is a transparent focus on counting through out the little bears adventure which certainly makes the numeracy lesson engaging and fun. The illustrations on each page by Anna Currey bring a visual representation of the number of the moment.
To create a bit more of an emphasis on the numbers, we teamed up our rainbow cubes with our Letter Basics Number Matching Game.
As we read the story, when Miss 4 heard a number, she was delegated the job of finding the corresponding written number, numeral and dot cards. While she found the matching cards, Miss 20m and I counted out the same number of rainbow cubes.
The repetitive nature of this book kept both the girls engaged in its tale. They eagerly took to the little numeracy challenge with each page turned. Miss 4 took a lot of pride in searching for the correct cards and Miss 20m enjoyed picking out the coloured cubes.
Julia Donaldson did it again – another amazing little story!
Counting with Toddlers
As you read through my blog posts, you will see that I really don’t have a huge emphasis on teaching 123s and ABCs to young toddlers. I feel as though there is so much more for them to learn and discover in their early years and there is plenty of time for academics later in their learning journey.
This being said, we love to include counting in our play… not just play but in every day tasks! We count everything! While 123s are not a dominant part of our play, they can be explored and taught passively in day to day happenings.
- Bowls from the cupboard when making breakfast
- Seconds until the microwave beeps
- Apples going into our produce bag at the shop
- Steps from the swing to the slide at the park
- Sultanas in a snack cup
- Books while packing them onto the shelf
When we count, we are always counting something not just reciting numbers. Our numbers are being used in context to explain their value.
Over the years, I have met some beautiful children who can recite 1-10 fluently and skip count with no mistakes. These same children could have a pile of four stones in front of them yet they would not be able to tell you how many stones there were in front of them.
Reciting verses comprehension.
Learning to Count without a Lesson
So how does one teach their child to comprehend the value of numbers and what they represent?
Count with them! Point, count and have fun!
- Show them that four apples is a bigger group than two
- Play with measuring cups and water
- Get a tape measure and measure sticks and leaves
- Sort Duplo blocks into piles of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc
- Sing songs with numbers and actions using props (Finger puppets, figurines, story stones etc)
Yes, there is something to be gained through flash cards and formal lessons but why limit a toddlers life to structured learning when they can learn through play every day?!
Learning through play – it is so much more than just having fun!
Dani D x
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