Helping your kindergartner count (a fun and seasonal trick)

Sunday, November 28th, 2009

AdventCounting to 30 by the end of kindergarten is a math standard. Some kids enjoy counting, sometimes to the extreme. Victor will proudly display his counting prowess to 100 over and over and over again. I am so proud but if I hear it one more time I think I’m gonna scream, but I don’t because I am his mommy and it is my job to listen.

Oliver had more trouble with counting, forgetting what comes next especially once we were into double digits. However, I found the best tool available for $1.99 – an advent calendar! Yes, you remember them from your childhood. Little windows with the numbers 1 through 25 scattered in random order, each one hiding a tiny chocolate (because chocolate is a great motivator for both young and old!). Each day you can look through the previously opened windows and review the numbers that you have counted so far. Opening the little cardboard shutters is also a good fine motor skill (and I am all about sneaking that in whenever possible).

It’s fun, it involves Christmas, and there is a reward system in place. You can find advent calendars at just about any grocery story. There are more expensive ones, but why spend the money when $1.99 can do the job just as well?

Now the advent calendar only gets you 24 days, buy if your kindergartner (or pre-schooler) can count to 24 by the end of December you are almost there with 6 months left in the school year.

While we patiently wait for Tuesday when we can begin, Oliver sits and stares at the calendar (maybe looking real hard will make the chocolate teleport through the cardboard?). When I tell him there are 25 days until Christmas I hear his little voice count from 1-24 without any help, and then, bolstered by his success he carries on to 30.  I stop what I am doing, because I am his mommy and it is my job to listen.

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