How do you teach 1,2,3s

BeeJay - posted on 03/02/2012 ( 21 moms have responded )




My daughter is 2 1/2. She knows her colors and almost every animal there is. She loves animals. But when it comes to A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s she has absolutly NO interest at all. I have tried showing her on my fingers, pictures, flash cards, counting crayons, blocks, even entertaining t.v. programs dedicated to teaching this. She doesnt care. She loses interest within seconds and goes off else where. If you show her animals or colors, she will sit forever naming them off. What is a fun way I can get her interested?


Louise - posted on 03/04/2012




She is still very young so this is not a problem for her, she has plenty of time to learn. All my kids learnt to count through activity songs like. 5 little speckled frogs, 5 little ducks, 5 little men in a flying saucer. If you make it fun she will learn the words to the song without realising she is doing so.

My advice to you as a mum of a gifted and talented child is not to force learning. If she has an interest like her animals then expand on that. Look there are three elephants shall we count them. If you pressure her to learn she will rebel.

Let her be a baby she has many years of education a head of her.

Loretta - posted on 03/04/2012




Children may learn numbers by rote, but they really aren't usually ready to understand the concept of more than 2 or 3 objects until they are at least 3 years old and often 4 or 5. So there is no rush for your daughter learning to count. I think it is far more important for you to enjoy the things she loves with her--like animals--and worry more about her knowing she is wonderful and lovable and loved. As far as the alphabet, the most important way at this age to promote later reading is to read to your daughter as much as possible. My oldest didn't seem interested in ABC's and reading even up until the beginning of her kindergarten year, although she loved being read to. Somewhere in the middle of the year, it just clicked for her and by the end of the year she was reading at a 5th grade level. So starting early doesn't mean everything.

Lori - posted on 03/04/2012




PBS/WETA Kids (depends on where you are) has Word World. They have animals that are made out of the letters of their names. So, D-U-C-K is a duck and such. They "build" words on every episode and the letters become whatever that word is. Our little girl loves it. They sell the DVDs so if you still can't get PBS you can find the DVDs to check out and see if she will show an interest. We also have the have the foam letters and numbers for the tub. She plays with them during bath time and we ask what letter/number she is holding and what color it is. It has helped a lot. Our little girl is 2 1/2 as well and she is the only one in her daycare class that knows ALL of her colors and letters. She can count almost up to 20 without mistakes. Try seeing if she will count how many animals there are or show her a letter and tell her what animals names start with that letter, E is for Elephant. That may help. Also, does your daughter spend time with other kids. They tend to learn from one another. All the kids in my daughter's daycare class are more interested in learning colors and letters because my daughter is right there with all the answers and gets the reward at the end. They are learning so they can get the reward (like a balloon, a sticker, etc) and because they see another child that knows the answers. Don't push the subject, just try to incorporate the letters and numbers into everyday life and her interests. She will pick it up. Good Luck.

Joy - posted on 03/03/2012




We do a lot of songs and mix them up. We have ABCs, 123s, animals, body parts, silly songs, etc. We also make games out of counting - like counting 1 2 3 before jumping into the pool (we have toddler/parent swim lessons) or tub. We count the steps we walk up and down to get to our apartment (we're the top floor) - that could work for other places that have steps. We read books that count various things including animals. We don't make it into a chore but something that we do with everyday things. My daughter likes to roll dice. We have large foam dice and other dice that clink. So we count the number of dots on the die when she rolls them (you can get up to 20 sided dice -although those don't tend to have dots.)

If your daughter likes animals, count the number of animals in a book or go to a zoo and count the number of animals in a cage. Or find a colorful picture and count the number of red (or other color she likes) circles/ squares -whatever's in the picture. Find stuff she likes to do or play with and use it as a way to teach. She'll have a lot more fun with it and her attention span will stay longer than if its flash cards (unless she likes flashcards.)

Another idea that I haven't tried yet is to have a day devoted to one letter. Take 'A' for example. Have everything you eat, places you go, etc. start with 'A.' Label things that start with 'A.' You don't have to go in order, but be consistent with it. I work part-time so don't have time for that, but they have done that for an older boy at my daughter's daycare.

Janice - posted on 03/07/2012




Just keep counting as part of your daily routine. Eventually she will catch on. Count the stairs as you climb up them and when color say things like "can I have 2 crayons please" and show her what that means. While some toddlers show an interest in counting and catch on to it, they really have zero need to count and so I really wouldn't worry. She doesn't need to learn how to count until around 4 years old.


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Elfrieda - posted on 04/04/2012




Oh, yeah. And remember that all us parents with our "wonderkids" just don't talk about the stuff the child doesn't know. Like my 2-year-old son knows almost all the letters and can mostly count up to 9, but he will see a duck and will shout "big quack!" or "hiss" for snake, "moo" for cow, etc, and he thinks every colour is blue. And I don't care! :) He'll learn it eventually.

Vicki - posted on 04/04/2012




What they've all said. Don't worry with 'lessons' as such. Just count stuff, buttons, crockery, cars, sing songs etc. I never really taught numbers to my boy and he just counted to ten one day.

Jodie - posted on 04/04/2012




I agree with the parents that say to just count everything. Count things that you see if your environment. Even if you don't push it, she will just soak it up like a sponge and then one day she will be counting all on her own. To add in another way to add in the counting, I count to my daughter while she is brushing her teeth. Instead of using a teeth brushing timer, I just count for each side that she does. I don't go over 20 so she gets a good range of numbers without it being overwhelming. I also have a puzzle that has all the letter shapes and each shape has pictures printed on it with words that start with that letter. For example, the A has an alligator printed on it. The L has leaves printed on it. She has done the puzzle so many times that now when we are looking at letters, if she can't think of what letter it is, I say the word of the picture on the puzzle and she knows what the letter is right away. For example if I say Leaves, she will say L. It will all come in time.

Jodi - posted on 03/07/2012




I always sing -- the Alphabet song, and various counting songs that I have heard over the years. I'll sing them anywhere, so I wasn't specifically trying to teach the kids, but they eventually got it because they heard the songs often enough. It's worth a shot, if you like to sing :-)

Nicky - posted on 03/05/2012




My son started counting by himself. It was kind of crazy one day he was sitting there and he counted to 10. He also says some spanish words which im guessing he learned from dora or diego. He says up in spanish and some other words and i had no idea what he was saying, until one day we were watching dora together and i heard it, I was like ohhhh thats what you were saying to me. It was too cute. She will learn just give her time and try to make a fun game out of flash cards. My lil guy loves his flash cards, we are doing shapes now. He knows his basic shapes but now we are working on pentagons and hexagons and all those shapes. He loves when we do flash cards!

Kathleen - posted on 03/05/2012




I put it into a song like i caught a fish alive then i let him go again WHY did you let him go because he bit my finger O which finger did he bite this little finger on my right My 2 boys love this and sing it with me :) you could also make it into a game such as getting them to bring to things to you like say will you get mommy 2 crayons and each time they get it right you have to tickle them :)

Elfrieda - posted on 03/05/2012




I'm trying to introduce my 26 month old son to numbers, and he really really likes the poem the first poster said, except my version has "9, 10, a BIG FAT HEN!" and I shout that last part and tickle him.

He likes to point to a bunch of similar things (like bees on a book page) and make sounds to pretend he's counting, so I say the numbers and he says them back. But he's interested. If he wasn't, I don't think I'd worry about it. Your daughter's only 2, lots of time to learn them yet.

Heather - posted on 03/05/2012




Count her shoes, socks, start there. Then count her bites that she's eating, buy books with numbers in them, sing songs with numbers in them. Sing her the A,B,C song, but books with them in them. Try buying a book of A,B,C, animals! There are many!

Same with numbers! There are books with animals and numbers. With our son, it was trains and cars! So we bought books with letters and numbers, and cars, trains, airplanes, so he picked it up by age 2!

Iysha - posted on 03/04/2012




I count stairs with my daughter. We count going up and down the stairs every time we have to move from the top floor to the bottom floor of our house. It's fair to say we count to 10 pretty often throughout the day. My daughter knows how to count to ten and will do so not only on the stairs. I agree with Jenni about incorporating learning into their daily routines. I am starting to do the ABCs with washing hands. every time I wash my hands, i sing the ABC song and my daughter is starting to pick it up and will mumble the song when she washes her hands.

Joy - posted on 03/04/2012




I had another thought as my daughter was watching Dora this morning: Maybe the entertaining TV programs you've introduced her to aren't entertaining to her. While we don't watch a lot of TV (we don't subscribe to cable) my daughter does like Dora, Elmo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Scooby Doo and Winnie the Pooh. (and Max & Ruby and Spongebob - but those two shows are discouraged in my place.)

Most of those shows have some counting or alphabet in them or some other content that's 'educational.' -except Scooby Doo which is entertainment for both parents & our daughter. Maybe there's other shows your daughter'd like more that you haven't tried? Or maybe she just doesn't like TV -and that's ok too.

Amanda - posted on 03/04/2012




My son found the show Super Why!, and we have always sung the alphabet to him. My son, who is almost 2.5, knows all of his letters. We are working on his numbers, and he's picking it up nicely. However, my son won't let you read to him-at all! If you try to read him a book, he takes it away or closes it. I think you just have to keep trying. Also, there is a website called that helps teach kids letters and numbers.

Sarah - posted on 03/04/2012




I just count EVERYTHING. Stairs, toys, bites of dinner, pages in a book, etc.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2012




I just use it in everyday things. Like when we are playing with the trucks, how many trucks do you have there...1...2...3...etc. For the ABC's we do it with the song and dance around, or clap or something like that when we do it.

Amber - posted on 03/03/2012




Our daughter loves the iPad so I have apps of flash cards on here and I have the foam numbers for the bath tub or simply start telling and asking ... L is for lion ... What is the first letter of the word lion... That works for us... Oh and I bought the wall stickers from dollar store of alphabet and put those up by her favorite dress up dresses so she always sees those. :) good luck

Jenni - posted on 03/03/2012




Try to incorporate it into her daily routine. Don't make it a chore or pay "special attention" to it. Children tend to learn faster from their environment than through special toys and gimics.

Instead count things out aloud to yourself. Like if you're cooking with her, count out the number of scoops of an ingredient. In the grocery store count out apples you're putting in a bag. Count steps when you're using stairs. Sing songs/rhymes that involve counting like the previous poster suggested. You can do the same by pointing out letters in her environment (in a story book, on a label in the grocery store). Maybe try to concentrate on 3 letters at a time, start with showing her ABC. Once she learns those add DEF. Make up little games, "here's an A, can you find another A?"

She's still got a ways to go before preschool or JK. So no pressure.

Michelle - posted on 03/03/2012




Does she like to sing you could try the this song with her.

1,2 buckle my shoe, 3,4 close the door, 5,6 pick up sticks, 7,8 lay them straight 9,10 begin again. My daughter had her numbers in no time with this song but she sings all the time so we did the alphabet like that as well. The other thing we do is we have an ipad and I have games on it about numbers shapes letters and matching games which she loves to play.

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