Many parents take the time to help their children learn to read and improve their literacy skills. It's an enjoyable activity and one that adults are generally confident about. Reading is something that most people are able to do with reasonable competence, so it's easy to pass that onto kids.
When it comes to maths, however, it's often a different story. A lot of people have more of an aversion to numbers, doubting their ability and fearing teaching their children bad habits. The effect of this is that there's a discrepancy in kids' abilities with numeracy and literacy, which can hold them back later in life.
Luckily, teaching your children some basic number skills is nothing to be afraid of. It can be easy and even a lot of fun if you try some of these ideas.
A lot of kids love to play at being shopkeepers, and this is an excellent way to help them get to grips with numbers. All you need is a toy cash register and some play money and you're good to go. Not only does this teach kids basic adding and subtracting, but it's done in a setting that mimics real-world mathematical interactions. That begins the process of arming them with skills they'll need as adults.
Try some simple counting games
When you're at home, you can ask your child simple questions, such as, "How many windows are there in our house?" or "How many birds can you see outside?" Children love to show off their counting skills, and practice makes them improve rapidly. You can take this further by buying some small toys, putting a selection in front of the child and asking them to count how many there are. Then, take some away and ask them to work out or count how many are left.
Sing a song
Songs like "Five Little Monkeys" and "There Were Ten in the Bed" have been used to help children learn to count for a long time. There are dozens more if you look for them, and it brings a lot of fun to learning by using music.
Make it a part of your day
Everywhere you go, there are things to count and ways to practice numeracy skills. Ask your child to help you work out money in shops, count people on the bus or items in supermarkets, and involve them in anything you need to do that involves counting.
For more ways to help your child practice their number skills, talk to educators like Jenny's Kindergarten.