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Pre Number Concept for Beginners


Jan 22, 2021

Reading Time: 7 minutes


Little kids need small steps to climb the ladder of academics. Introduce easy pre number concepts to them so that they are ready to handle huge numbers. Kids enjoy maths activities on patterns, matching, counting, and comparing.

Pre Number Concept: Plan to Make Maths Fun

We don’t directly let an infant eat solids without introducing semi-solid foods to them. Right? In the same way, we cannot expect a child to do basic maths without understanding the pre number concept.

These pre number concepts in maths are very important for children to comprehend what maths is all about.

They can’t do addition and subtraction in their early years of school if they don’t even know the difference between small and big numbers.

To let them do maths effectively, it is important to introduce them to the pre number concept.

Some of the main pre number concept activities you should teach to your child are:

  • Proper identification of numbers

  • Counting

  • Sorting and comparing numbers

  • Understanding number patterns

  • Matching by attributes

  • Measurement

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Pre Number Concept for Beginners


What is the Pre Number Concept?

The pre number concept meaning is pretty simple to understand. Before learning about the numbers, children get to know about the different variations of shapes, sizes, positions, etc.

Pre number concept activities focus on classification such as the difference in shapes, picking out between small and big, large and heavy, short and long, wide and narrow, thick and thin, tall or short, etc.

This way, children learn to observe the attributes of quality, then quantity, and finally, numbers. Initially, children are only taught to compare values and differences between them.

Later, upon reaching perfection in the pre number concept, children learn to solve number specific values.

For example, a preschooler would only be asked to differ between the bigger and the smaller object.

On the contrary, a kindergartener would be taught to solve higher-level questions like arranging in ascending and descending order.

Why Pre Number Concepts Important?

Now that you know the pre number concept meaning, it is equally important for you to acknowledge the importance of the pre number concept in Maths.

Here are a few reasons that indicate why pre number concepts are important:

  • To explore the role of mathematics in day to day life without actually doing difficult maths

  • To make maths easy, fun and interesting

  • Developing a proper sense of numbers

  • To discriminate between objects that are either the same or different

  • To be able to categorize, group, or match the numbers or objects according to the given criteria

  • Classifying things according to their weight or height

  • To promote the development of the child’s spatial awareness

  • To lay the foundation for understanding the essential concepts of mathematics

Essential Pre Number Concepts that You Shouldn’t Miss

You have the answer to why pre number concepts are important. However, do you know what pre number concept your child actually needs to know? Read on to know the essential early maths concepts important for children so that you can make your own pre number concept chart.

  1. Matching

Teach your child about noticing the same objects around them. You can do this by pointing out the similarity between two water bottles in your refrigerator, or two chocolates or toffees by the same brand.

Once they can easily determine the "same" objects, teach them how to find and match them on paper.

Benefits of Matching:

  • Matching strengthens the concept of one-to-one correspondence in children

  • It also improves concentration and visual memory

  • Children learn to pay attention to details, similarities, and differences by matching


Draw five different things at one column and the same things in another column but in a shuffled sequence. Ask the child to draw a line to group the same object.

Once they reach perfection in this type of matching, make it more complex for improvement.

  1. Making Sets & Sorting

When children learn to differentiate, they easily grasp on making sets of objects around them. This way, they also learn to recognize and sort their belongings.

Start by teaching your child to make sets of colors or shapes around them.


Draw eight different objects on paper keeping at least five of them from the same category. Ask the child to mark the ones that belong to the same group.

As an example, you can draw five things your child sees in the classroom and three random things.

  1. Picking the Odd One Out

When children learn to sort groups or sets, they can easily analyze the odd one around them and put it away.

If your child knows how to pick the odd object out, he may stay away from putting others’ belongings in his bags.


Draw four objects belonging to a similar group and one odd object on a piece of paper. Ask the child to mark the one which is odd in the set given by you.

  1. Counting Group Objects

Counting group objects makes it easy for children to recognize and count numbers.


Draw five sets of two, four, seven, eight, and nine objects each. Ask the child to count the objects in each block and write it.

  1. Comparison

Children learn to compare at a very young age. Work on pre number concepts big and small, hot and cold, heavy or light, thick or thin, etc to make it easy for them to compare.

Start by pre number concept big and small and later enhance the activity to more and less, tall and short by keeping minor differences.

Benefits of Comparison:

  • It helps children to remember the necessary information

  • Highlight differences around them

  • Get to know about the difference in numbers and quantities

  • Choose their priorities and take better decisions in later life


Draw sets of two objects each and ask the child to compare between the big and small, short and tall, more and less, less and least, etc.

Once they get perfect at comparison easily, draw sets of similar objects with minor differences such as spots on a frog’s body.

  1. Ordering

When children learn to compare, it is time for them to put the objects or numbers in order. This helps them count properly and sort things according to size, length, weight, or height.


Keep five jars containing one, two, three, four, and five toffees each. Ask the child to arrange the jars in the ascending order of toffees. Later, do this activity with one and two-digit numbers.

  1. Number Patterns

Once your child is well aware of the pre number concept mentioned above, go ahead and teach number patterns to them.


Draw a pattern of consecutive squares and circles in a block so that the first shape is square, the second shape is a circle, and the third shape is again a square.

Repeat this pattern at least four times and ask the child to draw the ninth shape.

Matching, making sets, sorting, picking the odd one out, counting, comparing, putting the things in order, and understanding number patterns support a child’s academic learning exceptionally.

Exposure to early number concepts makes them more creative and allows them to solve critical problems by analyzing them.

Proven Tips on How to Teach Pre-Number Concept to Children

If you are looking forward to knowing how to teach pre number concept to children, these tips from experienced teachers might help you out.

Not only you can build on your child’s natural curiosity by making a pre number concept chart for him, but you can also do a lot of fun together.

  • Practice daily by taking real-life examples.

  • Involve your kid in observing day-to-day quantities, and shapes around the home or school.

  • Grab shape sorters from the nearby store and ask your child to describe and sort them according to colors, shapes, etc. and count them.

  • Ask your child to categorize assorted candies in a jar to improve their sporting skills.

  • To help your child with putting things in order, ask them to line up bowls from smallest to largest.

  • Give your child a pack of molding clay and ask them to divide in the number you tell them.

  • Play rhymes that have numbers in them to improve your child's counting.

  • Ask your child to compare similar things in your home.

  • Gift them a bunch of books to compare their weight.

  • Ask them to keep all their clothes in one place and all their toys in another to help them understand sorting and picking out the odd objects better.

  • Download printable worksheets from the internet for better practice of each concept. 


Before your child joins the school, make the pre number concept a normal part of their daily life.

If their base is strong, they will develop an excellent understanding of elementary school maths such as addition and subtraction.

Don’t stress too much on how to teach pre number concept to children. Interact with them every day and make them great observers so that they are doing maths, even when they don’t know!

Early maths at home is the perfect informal way to give your child a head start before they do maths in their classroom.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are number concepts?

Number concepts cover the skills of counting and comparing. Both these skills are basic mathematics that must be mastered by children before they could pursue advanced mathematics learning.

What are number skills?

Numeracy involves skills that aren't always taught in the classroom – the ability to use numbers and solve problems in real life.

It means having the confidence and skill to use numbers and mathematical approaches in all aspects of life. Numeracy is as important as literacy.

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