Teaching numbers is an essential part of early childhood education. Some kids pick counting up quickly, while others may struggle with remembering and writing their figures. To reach all learners, try introducing numbers in a variety of sensory ways.
1. Teach With Touch
Cover a surface with shaving cream or finger paint and have kids draw numbers with their fingers. Have them trace numbers on tactile number cards or sandpaper. Put plastic numbers in a box and have kids feel them and guess what number they’re touching.
2. Teach With Sound
Make songs for each number and repeat them over and over in a fun way. Find videos with catchy tunes that drill math skills. Reciting numbers aloud may help root them in the brains of kids who learn by hearing.
3. Teach With Movement
Draw a hopscotch grid with numbers in each box and have kids call out numbers as they land on them. Jumping rope and counting each leap is a great way to have kids recite numbers without realizing what they’re doing. The same can be done with jumping jacks, steps on a slide ladder, swings on a swing, or steps on a walk.
4. Teach With Smell
Cut scratch-and-sniff stickers into different number shapes and invite kids trace them to release the scent. Trade pencils for scented markers when writing numbers out on construction paper.
5. Teach With Taste
Make cookies in number shapes and ask kids to identify theirs before eating. Do the same with cutting fruit into number shapes. Kids can also count the number of grapes or crackers or raisins or pieces of popcorn as they snack.
Go beyond the usual worksheets and chalkboard work to present numbers in different ways that appeal to all students’ senses and sensibilities. Every new way of looking at a concept stretches growing brains and opens doors to learning.