1. Parenting

Teach Phone Numbers at Young Age for Added Safety


Child care providers and teachers are joining with parents to teach youngsters contact phone numbers as an added safety precaution. This way, in case of an emergency or if they get separated from family members, they can hopefully recite the number to provide critical information. Remembering a 10-digit number can be difficult, so here are tips to help youngsters learn their phone number. Consider whether it would be best to first teach a home number or your cell phone number, depending on your accessibility to a number. Since more and more people are opting to carry their cell phone as a primary contact number, you may prefer to teach that number first with a home number later.

Quick tips for teaching tots phone numbers:

  • Start early: depending on a child, age 3 is achievable. Don't wait until your child enters school to begin teaching a primary phone number. The earlier, the better. Beyond a child being able to recite their first name and last name as well as city (and perhaps even entire address), a phone number can be memorized with practice and encouragement.

  • Create a sing-song with numbers. Most agree that kids learn easiest with a simple song or rhyme. One simple melody that works well with repeating is Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping?).

  • Practice, practice, practice. Most tots can repeat a number in the short-term, but it takes practice, repetition, and more practice.

  • Praise, praise, praise! Encourage long-term learning by having your proud tot recite a phone number to grandparents, neighbors, teachers, and friends. Reward your kid with a big hug, sticker, or other simple ways to show how proud you are of this achievement.

  • Practice impromptu recitation. Try simple drills of asking a youngster to quickly recite the number when in the middle of something else or during busy/hectic times to encourage quick recall.

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