Counting and learning numbers with Numicon

Lots of people ask us why we designed the Rock Stepper play mat bundle the way we did, so read on to find out why.

Firstly we wanted to design a beautiful play mat that didn’t look like a play mat, one that fit beautifully with people’s interiors as well as offering practicality and longevity. The Rock Stepper playmat provides a safe, soft place which is suitable for gentle stretches throughout pregnancy and is safe for baby from birth. Beyond aesthetics and safety, our goal was to ensure longevity in our product. We aimed to provide value for our customers by crafting a play mat that grows with children, from infancy through their school years, keeping them active and engaged in learning every step of the way.

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1 2 3 in numicons

So, why did we choose to incorporate numicons, those small, counting dots into the design? The answer lies in their ability to enhance children’s counting skills and numerical understanding. Sitting comfortably on the Rock Stepper play mat, children can use numicons much like number lines, tracing their fingers along the dots to count and visually associate each dot with its corresponding number displayed on the tile. This seamless integration of numicons across both the Rock Stepper play mat and flash cards creates a cohesive learning experience. Matching the flash cards to the mat reinforces learning as children visually connect the dots literally between the cards and the play mat.

Selecting the Right Flash Cards and Play Mat

Choose flash cards and play mats with clear, simple Numicon designs and numbers. Younger children are still developing their understanding of numbers and may be overwhelmed by complex designs. It’s also a good idea to opt for flash cards and play mats with large, easy-to-read numbers and Numicon shapes that children can match. As your Little Steppers get older, Rock Stepper flash cards introduce more advanced numerical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, and simple multiplication as well as increasing the numbers past 10. The Rock Stepper flashcards gradually increase in difficulty to challenge children as they progress in their mathematical understanding. This can help them build confidence and mastery over time.

Engaging Your Child in Counting Activities

Incorporate games, songs, and interactive activities into counting sessions to make learning enjoyable. For example, you can sing counting songs, play counting games like “I Spy,” or use toys or objects to make counting more playful. Connect counting activities to real-life situations and interests to make them more meaningful for your child. Counting objects and placing them on the Rock Stepper playmat is a great active way to engage with numeracy learning, use counting manipulatives such as blocks, beads, or coins to make counting more interactive and engaging, but also incorporating counting during daily routines like setting the table or sorting laundry can help reinforce counting skills in a practical context.

Encourage and Praise

Encourage and praise your child’s efforts during counting activities to boost their confidence and motivation. Here are 6 top tips to help with this.

  1. Celebrate their successes and provide positive reinforcement to keep them engaged and excited about learning.
  2. Keep counting sessions short and focused to match your child’s attention span.
  3. Break counting activities into smaller, manageable tasks and gradually increase the difficulty as your child’s skills develop.
  4. Allow your child to take the lead during counting activities and follow their interests and curiosity.
  5. Let them explore different counting methods and strategies at their own pace and be flexible in adapting activities to meet their needs.
  6. Involve siblings, friends, or other family members in counting activities to make learning more social and interactive,

Rock Stepper offers a great space that’s large enough to facilitate this. Counting together with others can enhance engagement and provide opportunities for peer learning and collaboration.

By incorporating these strategies into counting learning sessions, you can create a positive and engaging environment that fosters your child’s interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm for counting and mathematics. Be patient and supportive during counting sessions, and avoid putting pressure on your child to perform perfectly. Offer encouragement, support, and reassurance as they navigate new counting challenges and celebrate their progress along the way.

What are Numicons used for?

Numicons are used as a method to introduce child to numbers, counting and addition.

What age are Numicons for?

Teaching using Numicons can be for any age, generally however, they are used from the age 3 upwards.

What Numicon symbols are on the Rock Stepper play mat?

We have Numicons for numbers 1 to 10 printed on the Rock Stepper play mat.

What Numicon symbols are on the flash cards?

For the flash cards we have Numicons covering numbers 1 to 20.