Busy Busy Elbe game ~ Find the Number

A very early-learning number recognition game

This game can easily be played with a set of home-made cards. It is designed to help number recognition ~ and provides some suitable exercise for tiny legs. Once a child has been taught the names and shapes of several digits prepare a few cards with each of those digits clearly written on it. We sell a suitable set ~ [The Dresden Set] ~ in our sister shop.

Place some of the cards in obvious places around the room ~ or flat ~ or garden. (Away from the fireplace and precious ornaments!) Sit back in your favourite armchair and issue your requests ~ 'Please bring me the card with the number two on it!' ~ 'Card numbered three, please' ~ 'Please may I have digit four!'

Your conversation is an important part of the learning process. Keep talking. Stay polite! It is important ~ especially at first ~ to use vocabulary that is familiar to the child. Try to use the same language as school uses ~ that is not easy. Never go against their teachings.

Use of the word 'Digit' is a bit advanced ~ but introduce it slowly ~ the child will absorb the unfamilar meanings without any formal instruction. One of our teaching assistant advisors ~ who takes a small group of those who need extra help to catch up with the mainstream class ~ often mentions that the stumbling block is a single word of vocabulary ~ 'But miss, I don't know what a digit is!', 'We haven't done subtract yet!' ('Subtract' was the word used in the exercise book the class followed. Teacher always used 'take away'. The child was wronged by being excluded from mainstream maths when it was vocabulary that let him down.

You could develop the game with partly hidden cards ~ hunt the thimble ~ or introduce some competition as two people race to find cards.

Another development ~ when appropriate ~ would be to provide written instructions.

Home learning is fun ~ do not go on at anything for too long. Come back to a topic again later.

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