# Help needed for ideas how to help child who can't count past 3

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by thumbshrew, Jan 2, 2012.

1. ### thumbshrew

'1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive' might help him to learn numbers past 3 by rote. Elephants on a spider's web counts up rather than down. What happens when he gets to three? Does he say random numbers or nothing? Can he show 3 fingers or select 3 toys, or is he just reciting up to three?

2. ### Leapyearbaby64New commenter

You could have a go at daily 1:1 (only 10 mins) for a set period of time and see if that progresses things. As thumbie says, he needs to be learning that a number is "something of something" so I'd focus on activities that focus on counting out and matching rather than just songs. There are some quite good activities on TES iboard.

3. ### livenkickin

thank you for that. He just repeats 1,2,3,1,2,3 when counting. He can count out 3 things and can sometimes recognise these numbers though not consistently yet. I had already planned to do daily 1:1 sessions with him, was just struggling with what things to try in those sessions, as he gets quite annoyed when he is unsure of things.

4. ### MszEstablished commenter

What would he do if you gave him 4 objects to count?
would he do 1231 or would he do 123... and stick?

5. ### livenkickin

he's most likely to go 1,2,3,1 though sometimes he just will ignore that there are more than 3.

6. ### MszEstablished commenter

I would probably do no more than 5 mins daily of 1-1 with sets of 3 then 4physical objects and play my turn your turn (you count them then he does) If he just says 123 you say 4 then do it with 4 different objects repeat a few times ...
I would continue with the whole class songs and count at every opportunity jumps steps cars pieces of fruit at snack so he's hearing it over and over. I would also speak to his mum and ask for her help to support him at home.

7. ### mystery10Occasional commenter

Does he just not have the vocab or is it something else? If you show him four fingers, or four biscuits and ask him to put the same number of some other object onto the table what would he do? Is it just the vocab he does not have or can he not "see" anything more than three? Sorry but I'm finding it confusing when you talk about counting, because I'm not sure whether you are talking about just saying the right words in order, or you mean putting together the correct number of some objects, or you mean answering a question correctly as to how many objects there are.
If you rolled a die and five came up on it, could he get five cars for you, whether or not he can say one, two, three, four, five while he gets them out?
It sounds interesting.

8. ### Magnamon

I also think some children can get a bit stuck on counting in sequence because they panic they know there is a right and wrong way. I know I panic when doing mental maths. I had a child like this and when I talked to mum she kept practicing and correcting him and I think he was getting more and more frustrated. I suggested she stopped doing this and focus on getting him to find her say 3 things in everyday activities such as helping to get food at the supermarket. You could do similar at school through everyday routines or in play situations, getting him show with fingers Keep singing and counting as you are doing just keep the focus off him for a little and see how his understanding of amount is developing.