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How to teach your child to count to 10

Before your child can add or subtract, she has to know how to count. In fact, counting to 10 will likely predate your daughter's homeschooling program. Help her get a head start on learning by trying these teaching techniques: 

Use familiar objects
For toddlers, learning about the world around them is a part of life. They have to discover what objects are and how to say their names. Make counting just another part of that early childhood exploration. For instance, you can point to the buttons on your shirt and ask your daughter what they are. Then, ask her to count them with you. You can guide her through counting, but also give your daughter a chance to number them on her own.

Switch up the objects you use when counting - they can be anything from the number of people at your dinner table to how many stuffed animals are on your daughter's bed.

Start small
When teaching your daughter how to count, start small. Get her up to five initially, and when she has mastered that, go for 10. If your daughter grasps counting to 10 quickly, you can reach for 15 and 20. However, don't go beyond that when she's young - you don't want to confuse her. It's better for your daughter to really understand counting to smaller values than to reach high values, then forget how she got there.

What comes next?
Present your daughter with numbered flashcards, one at a time. Then have her guess which number comes next. That way, she learns the order of counting. You should switch up which numbers she must predict. You can use this which-comes-next approach with your daughter's age. She knows she's 2 years old, so ask what she'll be on her birthday.

Mistakes are OK
Your daughter will initially mistake order when counting, and that's OK. Simply knowing the names of numbers is a good start. Even if she says, "One, three, five," your daughter is showing that she's grasping the idea of counting and that she recognizes that those words are numerical values. With enough practice, your daughter will get the order right.

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