Language + Finger Control = School Readiness

At 36 months, the video shows that Sam is able to control his finger muscles to express numbers up to 5. This skill develops about mid-way through a child’s second year of life and is an important school readiness skill. Some children will be able to express their age of 1 using finger control as young as 14 or 15 months old, while others may not have the fine motor control or language understanding (i.e., When asked “How old are you?,” the child holds up one finger. Or, when prompted “Show me 2 fingers,” the child holds up 2 fingers.) to represent numbers using fingers until later into their second year. When a child is able to control his fingers to represent numbers in response to “number-oriented” language (e.g., How many…?, How much…?, How old…?, etc.), this demonstrates an ability to listen and move/do, a crucial school readiness skill, since school is a place where the grown-ups around have high expectations for listening to directions and then doing or completing what is requested.


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