When you add two numbers, put the bigger number in your head and continue counting higher from that point. Ex. Add 3 plus 4. Ask your child which one is the bigger number. They should know that it is the number 4. Have them put the 4 in their head. Trace the number 4 on their forehead with your finger. This sometimes helps the student envision the number in their head. Now remind them that they will be adding three to it. Begin counting by point to his/her head and say four (since the four is already inside their head). Now using his/her fingers we will add three more (so there should only be three fingers showing). So we count four (by pointing to his/her head) then five (on the first finger), six (on the second finger), and seven (on the third finger) and then stop since we’ve run out of fingers. Try this again.
Now add the numbers 5 and 7. 7 should start inside your child’s head since it is the bigger of the two numbers. 5 fingers should be showing. Count 7 (pointing at their head) and continue until you run out of the five fingers. The answer is 12. Now you can try this with object like pennies. Add eight pennies plus two pennies. You don’t need to start from one because you already know that there are 8 pennies. So you begin by pointing to the eight pennies and saying “8” then point to the two other pennies “9 and 10”. Also point out to your child that in addition, the answer is usually a number bigger than either of the two single numbers added together.