Counting is an activity that we do with kids from the time they are babies, and eventually, they start to count on their own. First, they learn the words for numbers in whatever language is used at home and use whatever numbers they happen to remember. Gradually, they use more numbers in the right order. As they repeat counting activities over and over, they figure out that 1 number goes with 1 thing. This helps develop their number sense.
When picking apples, there was a nice spot with 3 apples in a row. We started with those 3 and counted some more while we picked. There were so many that we soon lost count! Good thing we didn’t lose any apples.
Are there some apples in the fruit bowl or fridge at home? Your child can count those. Depending on their age and development, kids will count more or less accurately. If needed, you can help your child by touching each apple and saying the appropriate number but don’t panic if the numbers are mixed up. Lots of practice in a great variety of situations is needed to get the words and number of objects coordinated. Years and years of it.
We sang a song too to help with counting:
1 little, 2 little, 3 little apples, 4 little, 5 little, 6 little apples.
7 little, 8 little, 9 little apples, 10 little apples for us.
When picking, sometimes I would say a number (usually a 2 or 3) and ask the kids if they could pick that many. You can say a number and ask your child to put that many apples in a basket. For older kids or ones who love numbers, you can use apples to tell some math stories, such as: If you have 3 apples in your basket and I give you 2 more, now how many apples do you have. Kids can make up and tell their own stories.
Here’s a fun video of the story Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins.
If you have 1 red apple for snack, and eat it, how many are left?