Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago Huck told me he could count to 100.
Intrigued but skeptical--since we haven't done much with numbers here at home and I know that besides counting the days on the calendar they haven't focused on counting at his preschool either--I said, "Prove it."
Well, he did.
It took him a while, he missed a few numbers and consistently said "twenty-ten...thirty-ten...forty-ten..." instead of thirty, forty, fifty, etc. But the little guy did it.
That night I dug around in my craft room and found a big poster board sized piece of mat board I had left over from the wall art we made to decorate the kids' room and I made up a number chart to help him develop his new counting skills.
Poster Board or Mat Board
It's more expensive, but I liked using the mat board. It's nice and sturdy, sure to last through Jemima as well. Measure and draw your squares (10 across by 10 down--no duh) and write in your numbers. That's it. Write Number Chart at the top for word recognition if you want. I had these cool puffy letters my Mom sent.
I meant to get Huck to decorate the rest of it before I got it up on the wall but it didn't happen. I've decided I'm glad though. Whenever he gets stickers he always wants to know where he can put them. No, not on the chair. No, not on the wall. No, not on the door.
Now I can say, How 'bout on your Number Chart! Perfect.
Our Number Chart went on the wall in the living room at the bottom of the stairs. Huck picked the spot himself and he often sits on the bottom steps and counts. I'll also add that a couple of times, sending him to count has provided a wonderful distraction from those last, interminable minutes before dinner hits the table.
I have to admit, I wasn't 100% sure how to use these. I just kind of instinctively felt it would help him count and learn if he could see the numbers lined up like this. I've since taken a spin around the internet and discovered all kinds of other things you can do with Number Charts. Count backwards, count by twos, by fives, tens, etc. It's a really great tool for getting a grasp on basic math. Once your child can write the 10 basic numbers and count to 100 they can make their own "worksheets" by just recreating the number chart on a piece of paper.
And here's a link with number chart worksheets for older kids and ways to color code number charts for visual multiplication aids. Fun to know our Number Chart "has legs" as they say, and will be useful for years to come.