Tips To Teach Babies About Numbers
When a baby is born, she will only eat and sleep. However, as each day goes by, your child will start to develop into an individual. She will also start to display her own personality. As a parent, you only want what's best for your child. This includes helping your child master her cognitive skills.
A child will begin her formal education only from the time she starts preschool. Research though has proved that children begin honing their learning skill right from the time they are merely infants. Thus, even though your infant cannot understand the meaning of numbers, she is still able to learn about them. This will help her later on, when she actually begins her education.
One to Four Months
A one month old child will start to make eye contact with the mother and hold it for a few seconds. Gradually, the eye contact time will increase as the child grows older. However, a baby can only observe those objects that are within the baby's focal point region. In general, a baby's focal point region is about eight inches from her eyes. This is more or less the same distance between your eyes and hers, if you are holding her against your chest.
Your baby is also most responsive to the sensation of touch. Whenever you touch your child, you are creating a bond with your child. This is in addition to improving her cognitive skills. Your baby also uses all her senses to interpret items around. This is why she always puts objects into her mouth. She is seeking to identify them by their taste.
You can begin introducing numbers to your baby by singing rhyming songs which have numbers in them. As you sing, hold up your fingers, to mimic the numbers. Make sure your fingers are within your baby's focal point range so that she can see them properly. At this stage, your baby might try to grab at your fingers. Let her do so. You could also hold up large blocks with numbers printed on them or offer them to your baby to play with. While you sing, hold your baby's hand and trace the outlines of the numbers with her fingers.
Five to Eight Months
By now, your baby is used to the sound of your voice. She will look forward to the songs you sing to her. Continue singing to her and follow it up with actions. As you sing, clap your hands according to the numbers. At this stage, you are teaching your child to associate words with sounds and actions.
You can also write down a number on a page. First show the page to your baby and then hold your fingers up to show her how many numbers are written on the page. When you give your baby her toys, count them out as you hand them over to her.
Eight to Twelve Months
In this stage, your baby can sit up and is playing more actively. She will also be making a variety of sounds and trying to form words. This is her way of trying to communicate. Now, when you sing to her, sing more slowly and encourage her to try and repeat the numbers. Although the sounds your baby makes are unrecognisable to you, she is actually trying to repeat what you are saying.
When you give her a snack, count out each snack item as you hand it over to her. Vary the number of snacks you give her each time. She will learn that certain numbers mean more snacks. Conversely, you can also have her give you a certain number of items. Praise her when she gives you the right number of items. If she is wrong, gently correct her.
Never force your child to learn something if she is uninterested. Also, do not shout at her if she gets something wrong. Remember that she is still a baby. She is more likely to learn something if she is having fun while being taught.