Progression of Early Numeracy Concepts

Ways to Count by Age

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Learning to count, identify numbers, and compare and manipulate quantities are key early numeracy skills. These are powerful predictors of school-age mathematical learning and performance. Children begin to develop numeracy skills from a very young age. These numeracy skills include counting, cardinality, subitizing and one-to-one correspondence. Here's how these skills typically develop as children get older.



  • Uses language to compare the number of objects in 2 groups (eg. more, less, same) 

Photo credit

  • Uses 1-to-1 correspondence for small groups of objects 

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AGE 4 

  • Begins to visually or conceptualise subitise up to 5 objects (eg. seeing that 2 and 3 make 5)

    Credit: Learn to Play Preschool

  • Understands that the last number recited when counting a group of objects equals the total number 

    Credit: I See Maths



AGE 5 

  • Uses chunking for numbers 6-10, by first forming a group of 5.
  • Recites numbers to 40 with occasional errors most likely in the teens

    Credit: Toy Theatre



  • Identifies whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than or equal to another group of objects. Compares two written numbers.


  • Reads and writes numerals 0 - 20; Counts to 100 in ones and tens



It’s never too early to introduce children to concepts of numeracy; early childhood is a crucial time for brain development, so it’s important to think about how you can support young children to acquire numeracy skills. To find out more about the activities you can do to develop early numeracy skills in young children, do attend the workshop 'Building Your Child's Pre-requisite Skills for Learning Math' at the DAS Academy!