Is finger counting a GOOD IDEA?

finger countingYES! Of course it is – you know that because you probably still do it on occasion.  I certainly do and I know my sister does – we’re both pretty good at maths too.

Finger counting is great to give children a one to one correspondence of numbers up to 10 or even 20 but after that they need to start learning strategies for larger quantities or they will start to get muddled and stuck in the Counting Trap.

Children who have issues with counting on their fingers may have Finger Agnosia which is the inability to distinguish between fingers as they are being counted.  I have also seen children who are unaware of which finger is being touched with each count.  Using blocks, cuisenaire rods or any other suitable object can be a better solution for these children.

Helping children graduate from counting in 1’s on fingers can be a fun activity by recognising patterns.  Here’s another way you can help your kids using your fingers to make the numbers and also maths symbols to make a sum.    It’s great fun and the kids will love working out the sums you’re doing on your fingers.  What’s more, this can all been done in silence and the children can give you the answer with their fingers.  You can give a thumbs up if they’re correct or a thumbs down if they’re wrong.

Watch this 30 second video to see how it could be done with your kids:
If you have some other fun ideas I’d love to hear them  – please share by adding a comment below.
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