Knowing your numbers, shapes, colors, and letters are prerequisites to kindergarten. However, one more important lesson that should be taught, which might slip your mind, is teaching your child their phone number. And the sooner the better.
It’s a skill that they should acquire before going to kindergarten, preferably before preschool. It might seem like a daunting task to teach a child under four anything (potty training, anyone?), but it doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, it’s one of the easiest things to teach! I was able to teach my three year old his phone number in one afternoon and you can, too! No printables or special contraptions, needed. Just one small thing and I’m 99.925% positive you already have it. Are you ready for this one?!
Yep, that little cellphone of yours, fork it over to the toddler with cheeto stained fingers. Let’s be honest, as busy and tired moms, we often give up our cellphones in exchange for a moment of quiet time. Seriously, they have their own tablets, but our phones are obviously enchanted.
If your child has an affinity for cell phones or any electronic password protected device, utilize it for learning purposes. Change your screenlock password to the telephone number, temporarily of course. Show them the phone as you type the password and say the phone number aloud.
Below is a script that worked with my son. He’s 6 now, but we haven’t had to reteach him the number since.
The first time
“If you want to use mommy’s phone (or your tablet) you have to know the phone number to unlock it. Let me show you *show them as you type it in*.
“The phone number is **insert number here** there you go. The password is your phone number, okay?”
“Remember it is …. *repeat phone number* Can you repeat after me ***insert number here in this grouping for repeats: 987 (987) – 65 (65) 43 (43)***”
“Okay, one more time so you can remember your phone number to use my phone. Repeat after me again **insert number for repeating**”
5 minutes later, ask to see the phone or tablet. Return it back locked. This time when they ask for the password, simply say it, and have them repeat the phone number after you while they input it. (You will have to repeat this at least 4 times, taking the phone in varying increments.)
The second-fourth time
“Remember, the phone number is the password. What’s your phone number? It’s **insert number here** Now repeat after me as you put in the phone number. **insert number here, allow child to repeat the numbers after you as they type it in**”
The fifth time
THERE IS NO FIFTH TIME…. at least for me.
By the third time, my son knew the first four numbers and would try to speed ahead inputting them. The great thing about this technique is that it is real-world interactive with an immediate incentive and immediate reward. Your child might get it the third try, the fifth try or the tenth try. The key is consistency. Once you’ve shown them the first time how to input the numbers, do not input it yourself. Make them repeat the number as they do it. Also, feel free to implement a “too many failed attempts” policy so they’re “locked out” for thirty minutes or an hour if needed.
What I love most about this technique is that you can implement this for ALL IMPORTANT NUMBERS, like your address street number and zipcode. This could even benefit teens, too. You would be surprised how many high school seniors I teach who do not know their social security number.
IS IT PIN-WORTHY? PIN IT USING THE IMAGE BELOW!
Is this a trick you might try? Have you tried something else with success? Let me know in the comments below!