Teach Kids to Write Numbers with the ‘Thumb Numbers’ Trick

Teach Kids to Write Numbers with the ‘Thumb Numbers’ Trick
Photo: pkproject, Shutterstock

For some kids, learning how to write numbers can be a real challenge. There are so many to learn! In all kinds of weird shapes! One can see how that would be frustrating. But an occupational therapy assistant may have come up with a method to help those kids out. She has dubbed it the “Thumb Numbers” method.

This particular method would only work for right-handed children, though, so she also has a couple of suggestions for left-handed kids. They can flip their right hand over, palm up, and write the numbers with their left hand. If that’s too uncomfortable, she also suggests having them practice tracing the numbers in something like sand or flour with only the index finger, to take out the fine motor skills component and get a feel for the numbers’ formation.

If you click through her photos, you’ll also see she uses the same technique with a ruler that has a picture of a hand with a finger sticking out — like this one. It’s typically used to help kids learn to leave enough space between words when they’re writing sentences or practicing writing vocabulary words, but it can double as a Thumb Numbers guide, too, for righties or lefties.

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