This is the easiest way I know to teach young children odd and even numbers. It's so easy, I taught my six year old after dinner one night using this approach. It works because many children are visual learners and the objects and the language used are familiar and relate-able. It's a great way to introduce the concept of odd and even numbers in early childhood.
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To start, collect 10 objects. I chose some of our much loved Happyland people. Place two people side by side. Most young children will be able to tell you how many there are. I don't start talking about two being an even number at this stage but have introduced the concept of even and odd numbers generally as a way of sorting numbers, another number pattern.
'Who is alone?' I ask.
'Who doesn't have a friend?'
'Who is the odd one out?'
'How many people can you see?'
'So do you think three is an odd number or an even number?'
Help reinforce the concept by repeating with different combinations of people and invite your child to create their own. You'll also note I've place the figurines in ten-frame order to make them easier to subitise and/or count. Early writers could write the number they see too.
My nine year old also shared her tip for working out odd and even numbers. She imagines people on seesaws - an even number of people means the seesaw works, an odd number of people the seesaws don't.
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