An article I subscribe to for parents:
Your 4-year-old now
The average 4-year-old can count up to ten, although he may not get the numbers in the right order every time. One big hang-up in going higher? Those pesky numbers like 11 and 20. The irregularity of their names doesn’t make much sense to a preschooler.
Don’t get caught up in trying to persuade your child to count much beyond ten or 20 right now. Most fours can’t fully comprehend how larger numbers correspond to actual quantity. They usually count between four and ten objects correctly. A child this age who rattles off numbers in sequence higher than 20 is generally doing so from sheer memorization.
Really? After all this time I’ve been trying to get Em to master her numbers from 1-100. She gets the order right 1-20. Granted, she sometimes gets confused with reading numbers 11-20, but she knows the function of counting when she has objects requiring to know its quantity.
But why not ‘get caught up’ in persuading your toddler to count beyond ten? I’ve seen toddlers learn how to add. There’s really nothing wrong with pushing their memorization skills. I believe in giving my children a little challenge.