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I’ve mentioned a few times how my 4 year old has recently become interested in writing. There are little scribbled notes all over the house and questions shouted out to me, ‘Mum, how do you spell…’ It’s so lovely to watch her learn and be excited by new things. Along with writing letters, she has also been trying to write numbers. Numbers are something she’s always been interested in and she’s been able to recognize the numerals 1-10 since she was two. But lately she’s been randomly coming up to me during the day to deliver me facts such as ‘did you know 2 plus 3 equals 5?’ However, she’s been feeling a little frustrated when trying to write the numbers down. Two, four, and five are particularly tricky!
While by no means do I think learning to write numbers is necessary at the ripe old age of four, I do follow her lead and want to show her that what is important to her is important to me too. So, I decided to set up a little invitation to explore numbers for her that I thought might help.
I set out some number cards along with a tray of different pieces from our Spielgaben set that she could make the numbers with. I thought that this would encourage her to concentrate on the different lines and shapes used to write each number.
Of course, she was excited to take up the challenge right away. Her older sister is really into maths too and I think she likes having her own things to be able to do.
Number 4 seemed to be the hardest for her. She eventually worked out that she needed different length sticks.
Pretty soon she had made all the numbers up to ten.
Noticing she hadn’t used the dots, she asked me what they were for. I explained that I had put them there in case she wanted to use them to show how much each number represented. She started counting them out.
After she had finished that she went and got a pen and paper saying that she wanted to write the numbers she had made. A chance to see if my idea had worked!
And here’s her very cute writing. I don’t have a before photo but this was much easier for her than prior to doing the activity. All numbers around the right way and everything. Pretty good for a 4 year old I think! She really enjoyed doing it and asked if we could keep it all in the tray on the shelf ‘so I can do my maths whenever I want’. Since then she has taken it out a couple of other times to complete again. A handy and helpful little activity I think! This could be used for any age and I think even my 6 year old would benefit from giving it a go as she still sometimes gets numbers back to front.