3 min read

When Do Kids Start Counting to 10?


Counting to 10 is a major developmental milestone that many parents look forward to. But at what point should your child start to learn numbers and when should they be able to count to ten?

See also: Toddler activities that you can use to help your child learn counting to 10.

When should my toddler learn to count to 10?

Math is all around us and from the moment children start exploring the world, they are learning. Whether they are identifying shapes, recognizing patterns, or predicting events, these are all mathematical concepts that develop as a child ages. But at what age do children start to understand numbers?

The truth is, children will recite numbers before they actually understand the concept behind them. Though every child is different, most toddlers will be able to count to 10 by the time they are two years old. With that being said, at this point in time they are probably repeating them mostly by memory and have yet to understand what they actually mean.

This concept is known as “rote” counting. Rote counting is when a child can say numbers in order, and is mostly learned through hearing the numbers repeatedly said out loud by others. 

Our little Harper Grace learned how to count to 10 using Speech Blubs App.

When rote counting to ten, children may be able to cite numbers in order or may jump from number to number randomly. The more they hear others count, the more confident they will become in reciting the proper number orders. 

Note: Don’t panic if your child is not able to count to ten by the time they are 2 years old. This is the average age that children learn to count, but is by no means definitive.

All children learn at their own pace and some will learn more quickly than others. You can help your child learn numbers by working with them on a regular basis and engaging in toddler math activities.

Early math and counting to 10 for preschoolers

When do children understand basic math concepts?

We mentioned above that even though most toddlers can cite their numbers by 2, they don’t necessarily understand the concept behind them. Children don’t actually start to understand the concepts of counting until between 2-4 years of age. 

The first sign that your child is starting to understand the concept behind numbers is with a skill known as one-to-one correspondence. You will often see this come to light during playtime. One-to-one correspondence is when children start to group objects, pointing to each one as they count them. Again, this skill is often learned by copying others. 

The next stage is understanding what these numbers represent. For example, if you count “one”, “two”, “three” cars, then there are three cars total in that group.

Once children start to understand this concept, the next stage is pairing numbers with their written numerals. Most children can start to understand this pairing by their preschool years, or 3-4 years of age. 

Other mathematical concepts that are usually developed by the preschool years include the ability to recognize shapes, use classifications (height, size, etc), use spatial awareness for puzzles, and start predicting cause and effect relationships. 

Teach numbers with Speech Blubs! Our fun section NUM8ERS & M3 will help your toddler learn counting in no time!

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