100 Days of School & Understanding 100

By: Beth Van Derslice

What’s the cutest thing ever? A bunch of pre-schoolers dressed up like they are 100 years old. We know because we’ve seen it! Speaking of the number 100, why not seize the moment to count to 100 with a future centenarian.

100 Years Collage.jpg

See it, count it, identify it, write it…

Many schools celebrate the 100th Day of School. My son’s preschool does, and a quick internet search reveals this is indeed a thing. Our family has been so lucky to have a “Granny Great” who recently turned 100, so it’s been on on our mind.  Over the past few months of planning and executing a 100th birthday party we have had many opportunities to explore and play with 100. Of course, you have to walk before you run, even with counting.

When I first started playing around with numbers with my son (he had just turned 4 at this time), he could easily count to 10 from memory. He had memorized a counting song, but I was surprised to see that he couldn’t truly identify certain numbers on a wall or screen. He was great at counting dots, using fingers to keep track and then saying the number, but show him the number “9” for instance and he wasn’t sure. So we started playing with the games similar to those now in the cache and it didn’t take long for my 4-year-old to learn to see the number, count the number, and identify the number and start to write the number.

There are lots of ways to understand numbers -- make sure your child is exploring all of them.

We’re biased, but the cache is truly a great tool for learning and reinforcing a child’s ability to see and understand numbers, but -- more importantly -- conceptualize math beyond rote memorization.

Here are a variety of other activities to help your child conceptualize math.

See it with building blocks 

We love Mega Bloks and other building blocks and bricks. Check out these fun ways to make 100.

Count it with visual aids

We had fun counting 100 personalized M&Ms for Granny Great’s birthday party favors, but traditional visual aids like this one are great to show both the visual representation of the number and actually 100 of something. (contains Amazon Affiliates link)

Identify it through exposure  

I used matching games -- match the number of dots to the number itself -- to help my son start to understand the relationship between counting and visual representations of numbers. Another easy game to help move number identification skills along is by rolling the dice and then pointing to the matching number. Once your child masters 1-10 and the teens, helping them identify number through 100 is about patience and exposure.

Write it with practice

There are lots books aimed at practicing number tracing and repetition. These printables can help with seeing, counting, identifying and writing, that is, if you have a child old/patient enough to work through 100 of something.