Only Way Back is Forwards
I am totally amazed at the amount of counting/math that is involved with finger patterns. It begins on their fingers going forwards, then isolating a finger pattern to name the number, linking finger patterns to an actual quantity, instantly recognizing a finger pattern that is flashed and linking finger patterns to real life scenarios such as counting wheels on a car.
Lately I have noticed my four year old using his fingers to help keep track of "things" such as presents at a birthday party. I have noticed a confidence build inside him as he notices numbers everywhere. Now that he has an underlying confidence and really understands forwards counting, I have been talking to him about counting backwards.
Beginning to Count Back
1. Tie the counting back into something fun, such as jumping into the pool or racing your child around the house. I say something like, "When I get to 1, go. Ready 3, 2, 1, go!"
2. Depending on your child's age and ability level you can start with going back from 3 to 1 and then build from 5 to 1 and eventually from 10 to 1.
3. Have fun while counting back. We were watching the space shuttle take off and my son noticed the countdown so we now say, "blast off" after we get to 1.
Video of Blast Off
This first clip is counting back from 5 to 1 without finger patterns.
The second clip is counting back from 5 to 1 with finger patterns.