“One wears a bun… one, one, one!” My four year old keeps chanting this from her car seat in the far back bench of our twelve passenger van. “Two shines her shoe… two, two, two!” Chimes in my eight year old from the bench in front of her. “Hey!” Shouts back the five year old behind me, “You forgot Zero!” And so they all start over together! Eventually the “big kids” (ages nine and eleven) give in and join. They might as well, really. They have until “Nineteen meets the queen… nineteen, nineteen, nineteen!” Thanks to Esther Kehl, creator of the previously reviewed Amazing Action Alphabet, my littles have found a fun way to count while learning and remembering what each number looks like and how many each represents.
The Number Neighborhood, written by Esther Kehl, illustrated by Andy Carlson, uses a “whole brain approach to teaching number names and number values.” Most of us have heard that children learn through playing. We can also observe that different children enjoy different types of play. Some like to sing and dance, while others enjoy story time, and still others enjoy looking at pictures and coloring or building. Going on my eighth year of home educating, and planning to begin my second wave of teaching littles to read, write, and recognize numbers and values, I know that each of mine are different, and I am glad to have an easy to use resource that teaches number recognition and value in a way that can draw everyone in and get them learning.
Kehl has created an excellent, heavy stock, top edge spiral bound flip book that parents, caregivers, or teachers can hold up for the child or group to see a creative and brightly colored number character, while being able to read the character’s story on the back. The story helps to express the value of the number represented by the character and contains a repeated, rhyming phrase that the children can lock into their memories and continue to chant/sing, and thus reinforce, as my children were doing on our outing.
I could just display and read The Number Neighborhood to my children, but Kehl has also designed these cute number stories to come alive and be acted out. She knows that children learn best when they can incorporate what they see and hear with action! So she adds a bit of direction at the end of each story to help the children lock in what they are learning to their kinesthetic, or body movement, memory bank. For instance: “An action that helps us to remember the number one is: Use one finger and touch the top of your head. Now whisper, ‘One wears a bun… one, one, one!'” And, yes, my children were doing all of the actions as we drove down the street. We may have looked a bit wild to passing cars, but we were learning and having fun doing it!
I have a feeling that, between the Amazing Action Alphabet and The Number Neighborhood, my family is going to be spending a lot of (fun learning) time with Esther Kehl this school year! If there is a little one in your life, I would encourage you to check out the Neighborhood, too!
Alyssa Katanic is a wife and homeschooling mother of 7 children under 11 years old. She loves reading and collecting great books to share with others and knows that one can never have too many!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Seeheardo Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.