Counting the dates on a calendar is probably the most beneficial activity you could do with your child. Daily practice will help sharpen their skills, including:
- number recognition
- predicting the next number in a sequence
- number relationships (10, 20, 30, etc.)
- one-to-one correspondence
- “reading” left-to-right
Each day, sit in front of the calendar with your child. Beginning with the first date on the calendar, model pointing to the date and counting to the last date placed.
“Where is the day with the number 1? Yes, that’s the first day of ______ (month), so we put a 1 there. Now, let’s count to see how many days we have already put on the calendar. Don’t forget to touch each number when you say it!”
As your child counts, be sure that their finger is touching the dates already up on the calendar. If your child is learning to count (Julia still has trouble after 14 from time to time), do it together! Once you get to the last number placed, ask, “So the last number on the calendar is ___, which number would come next?” Again, if this is tricky for your child it’s okay to tell the answer – the idea is to model the process every day until it can be done independently! Sometimes I’ll even have the next number already out on the floor to help Julia figure it out, making her feel more successful.
And we all know, a successful preschooler is a happy preschooler. 🙂