Observe the child during activities involving multiple items (cereal pieces, toy cars, etc.).
Model pointing to and counting the items and see if the child imitates the counting words while manipulating items.
The child will point to and move items while saying the number words, but will not demonstrate one-to-one correspondence.
Help parents understand that children learn about numbers through listening to early childhood educators and parents use number words in meaningful situations. Emphasize and isolate objects as each one is counted. For example, move one piece of fruit to the side and say “one.” Then move another piece and point to each, saying, “One, two. Two pieces.” At first children are just imitating and learning a rote sequence, but by emphasizing the meaning of the word with visual and tactile one-to-one correspondence, the adult is helping the child understand numbers. Encourage parents to use simple numbers (1-3) with many objects and events throughout the day.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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