'Cardinality and Counting' is all about understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity, or ‘howmanyness’ of things it represents.
- Being able to count aloud forwards and backwards in 1s initially to 10, extending onto bigger numbers once they are secure.
- Counting with 1 to 1 correspondence which means using your finger to press and count each one by saying the number or physically moving the objects as they count. It is important that they understand that the last number they say, tells them how many are in the group.
- Subitise which is just being able to recognise things without counting.
- Begin to recognise numerals and match to sets of objects counted.
- And finally, to know that the number does not change even if it is rearranged.
Things you can do at home to develop this area are:
- Count out loud with your child e.g. going up the stairs, down the stairs, walking down the road, using silly voices/actions to make it more interesting.
- Sing nursery rhymes involving counting e.g. 5 Little Speckled Frogs, 10 Green Bottles, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive.
- Make a magic counting wand to help them point to and count groups of objects from a stick and some ribbons etc.
- Play dominoes, card games, games with dice and encourage your child to just recognise how many there are.
- Hide up to 5 objects under a cover/dish and encourage your child to say how many there are without counting and explain how they knew e.g. I can see 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom and altogether there is 4.
- Number spot in your environment e.g. numbers on doors, numbers on number plates, road signs with numbers on, prices in shops etc. There are numbers everywhere!