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# Counting with Fingers

By Simon Chubb
Age Range: 5 to 11

How to count to 59 on one hand...

The finger pads (3 on each finger - and two for the thumb) are a useful resource for counting in threes. Try just three fingers to count to 9 then use the thumb as a "ten".

Now count on the finger pads again to get to 19 and use the second thumb pad as 20. The little finger can be used for 30, 40, and 50.

Susana Lopes has also contributed the following idea:

Fingers can be used to count to ten but also in tens. I found it specially useful when asking children to add 9 or 11 by adjusting.

• Get children to VISUALISE number bonds 1+9,2+8 ...using fingers.
• Add ten to each of these bonds to get bonds of 20.
• Count in tens - each finger with 10 invisible rings (or even visible to start with)
• Add ten to the set number looking at fingers (34+10 3 fingers up, keep 4 in your head and the result will be 44).
• Over a number of sessions children should be able to VISUALISE fingers in their heads and think of following ten and add one more or take one away for adjusting.

Sarita has contributed the following information:

I do not know if someone has already suggested this idea, however it will be easier for children to start counting on 1 ,2 ,3 on their little finger’s inside parts where you can see three partitioning and so on and you can amazingly count 15 on one hand by going up to your thumb and 15 on the other hand likewise.

Another way of knowing how many days are there in each month is to start naming the months on your knuckles. The months landing on the bone have 31 days and the months landing in the depression between the bones have 30 days (apart from February).