Hi Nicola! It seems to me that it's fairly natural for numbers to come first.....because we "count" things with children, beginning at a very young age.....10 toes, 10 fingers.....one nose..two eyes.....and it also would seem to me that the concept of numbers/counting comes easily and quickly to a little one.
Even when I read to my children, and now, my grandchildren, I notice that if we count one time with them......the next time, they tend to point at the ducks or puppies and count out loud...."One, two, three..."
I think letters would come a bit later on, when they can perhaps, hold a pencil and even practice forming letters as they learn to recognize and pronounce them.
This is all my own opinion and observations, based on 100 years of child rearing!! LOL......there are probably many opinions on this.... I think mine is fairly sensible...............Peace!!
I have been identifying letters and numbers simultaneously for my 16 month old since she was very little. I don't think of it as teaching, we count her toys, go through the colors, and point to her letters on the fridge when we play. Not saying it is the right or wrong way, just the way I was taught as taught as a baby so it is what I am familiar with.
I think delaying numbers or letters could be problematic later on. I try to do shapes as well. Even if she can't recite numbers, letters, colors or shapes at the moment, she is familiar with the idea that objects are identified by more than their names.
I think you can teach them both simultaneously. They learn a lot of numbers just from observation and you can expand on that. Then add a few letters, the alphabet song is great for that. Sesame Street is great for teaching numbers and letters. (I still enjoy that show!) Shhh, that's our secret.
I would say "numbers" , the whole world consists out of some sort of mathematical equation. Understanding numbers is key to brain development in early ages of a child.
I believe letters are more important. But that's a personal opinion. IN order to communicate with you, they will need to form words, therefore, letters.
I would go with teaching both of them at the same time. There is no reason to teach one before the other. Young children can handle both simultaneously.
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