Wooden, colorful numbers on the train toy, on the table - an easy way how to teach kids numbers

How to Teach Kids Numbers: 5 Easy Exercises with Examples

Learning numbers is as popular as learning the alphabet. It is a skill usually preschoolers and kindergarteners need to master. But, when it’s the time to teach them, parents often wonder how to teach kids numbers. 

How to make learning fun and interactive?

We are here to help with our 5 easy exercises with examples of how to teach your kids to be confident in counting independently.

When Should Kids Start to Learn Numbers?

Between their first and second year, kids start saying random numbers. At this age, they will gladly listen to some number rhymes and books.  They do not have the deeper meaning of it, but the learning starts right at that point. At around kids’ fourth year, they can understand that numbers represent discrete quantities. 


From the very beginning of babies’ lives, kids are exposed to numbers, whether it is through pattern recognition or the capacity to understand quantity amounts. Kids can easily recognize numbers and name them but comprehension takes time, so be patient!

Nevertheless, kids can start learning numbers as early as their first year. Since arithmetic is everywhere we look, there are numerous ways to help kids who are unsure about their number sense retain it. The fact that numbers, usually, one to five are used so frequently makes it easy for kids to learn them. 

For instance, ask your kid to give you one block or two Legos. If they do not understand, you can help them by saying, could you please hand me another one so I can have two? These straightforward daily chores can improve comprehension without much effort.


What Age Should a Child Recognize Numbers?

Kids can start recognizing numbers between their second and fourth birthdays. However, this largely depends on kids’ ability and it is not a standard milestone.

Some kids are quicker than others in recognizing numbers and letters, even if you constantly expose them to numbers or alphabet movement activities. So don’t be surprised if it takes your toddler longer to recognize numbers.

When we compare teaching kids numbers and letters, numbers are much easier. They need to learn only ten characters, from 0 to 9. When it comes to the alphabet, there are 26 different letters, with lowercase, uppercase, and capital letter rules. Numbers are all made of the same size, which makes teaching them for the first time or remediating them easy.

How to Teach Kids Numbers: 5 Easy Exercises

#1 Songs and Rhymes with Numbers

Songs and rhymes with numbers are the easiest and most fun exercises you can do with your kid. Just by reading and constantly singing them, there is a greater chance of your kid remembering, and the later even comprehending them. Here are a few easy and fun number rhymes and songs:

For each song you are singing, ensure that you are holding your fingers and showing them to your kid so they can relate to the number. 


#2 Counting Fingers and Toes

Kids can easily learn numbers by counting their fingers and toes. It is also one of the oldest ways of teaching kids numbers. After you count together toes and fingers, ask how many toes they have on one foot or how many fingers you are holding up.

#3 Toys with Numbers

How to teach kids numbers has never been easier thanks to toys with numbers. They are one of the best ways for kids to learn numbers because youngsters learn best through play. They get the chance to manipulate things and experience psychological connections with numbers.

Even though numbers are abstract concepts, kids, especially preschoolers and kindergarteners, learn best from concrete examples. Children need to see, touch, and understand numbers before they can work abstractly with them, so number toys are their solution. Here are some of the most interesting toys with numbers:

1. Number Puzzles

There is a huge market offer for different puzzle toys. They are usually crafted from wood, which is always a good call for saving the environment and keeping kids away from plastic.

There are puzzles with the puzzle board and numbers to put in the correct order. Another number puzzle is a self-correcting number puzzle that has numbers on one side and items like fruits and vegetables on the other half of the puzzle card. This way kids can count how many apples are on the puzzle and learn numbers each time. Here are some of the most creative yet affordable number puzzles:

2. Montessori Peg Number Board

The Montessori Peg number board is a fun game that helps kids connect numbers and objects. After identifying each board’s number, they must place the correct number of sticks on each board. This game is self-correcting since it contains the correct number of holes that kids need to feel for each number.

3. Number blocks Toys

Blocs are one of the favorite toys for kids. And when you mix learning with toys, you get a smart kid. The number block toys help kids to identify numbers, learn how to count, and eventually solve some basic math calculations. Here are the top three number block toys that we recommend:

4. Flash Cards

You can either buy flashcards with numbers or make one. Use cardboard and make pieces of card as much as you prefer. Start with the numbers zero to nine and incorporate two-digit numbers if you have an older kid. With these flashcards, you can play various games.

For instance, mix the cards so that they are all randomly placed. Tell your kid to arrange them in the correct order and assist them along the way. Or you can try to play Go Fish. 

#4 Connect the Dots with Numbers

Connect the dots is a great game not only for learning the numbers and their sequence, but it’s also great for improving motor skills, precision, and hand control. You can buy it in any bookstore or online. Give your kid a pencil or crayons and let them draw a shape of an object with numbered dots.

For example, there are 10 dots to make a heart shape, starting with the number one. Assist your kid to follow the numbers and draw the given shape. These books can be really fun because they come in various shapes like animals, nature, food, etc. You can make the game more fun by letting your kid color the shape once the drawing is done.

#5 Number Stones

Creating number stones is a great play for an outdoor healthy activity. Kids get the chance to spend time outside while collecting stones, connecting with nature, exploring the environment, and engaging in physical activity.

The aim is to write or paint numbers on the stones. You can even draw some things like three ladybugs, two ants, five butterflies, or whatever comes to your mind. This is a great game about how to teach kids numbers while practicing drawing skills as well! 


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.