# Counting facts for kids

**Counting** is the mathematical action of repeatedly adding (or subtracting) one of something. Usually this is to find out how many objects there are. Counting is also used (primarily by children) to demonstrate knowledge of the number names and the number system. In mathematics the term *counting* also means finding the number of elements of a finite set.)

There is archeological evidence suggesting that humans have been counting for at least 50,000 years. Counting was primarily used by ancient cultures to keep track of economic data such as debts and capital (i.e., accountancy). The development of counting led to the development of mathematical notation and numeral systems.

## Forms

Counting can occur in a variety of forms.

Counting can be verbal; that is, speaking every number out loud (or mentally) to keep track of progress. This is often used to count objects that are present already, instead of counting a variety of things over time.

Counting can also be in the form of tally marks, making a mark for each number and then counting all of the marks when done tallying. This is useful when counting objects over time, such as the number of times something occurs during the course of a day.

Counting can also be in the form of finger counting, especially when counting small numbers. This is often used by children to facilitate counting and simple mathematical operations. Various devices can also be used to facilitate counting, such as hand tally counters and abacuses.

## Education and development

Learning to count is an important educational/developmental milestone in most cultures of the world. Learning to count is a child's very first step into mathematics, and constitutes the most fundamental idea of that discipline.

## See also

In Spanish: Contar para niños

*Kiddle Encyclopedia.*