Little Akira is making a short sentence and stops in the middle of a sentence. He pauses for a while and gives up. What happened? He wanted to express a number but couldn’t. He hasn’t learned numbers yet.
Children love numbers and counting, especially when they are younger. They know it gives them power over their world. I use small flattened glass beads to teach counting at first (hajiku). It is simple. I give them one at a time, counting as I do. They take the bead, and put it in a cup they are holding. Then they can give back the beads, one at a time (I mime this, so they know what to do), counting with me. It is a game for them.
As we progress, we can count higher and higher. If there are several children, we can progress by also having them hand the beads to one another (not to me). For toddlers, they can practice with their mothers.
Another level of progression is to teach them ‘How many?’ and give them a cup that already has beads in it. Once they know ‘How many?’, you can start to use that question with other things. It is very powerful.
Have fun counting!