31/01/2012 19:57 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Easy As 1, 2, 3: Babies Can Count At 18 Months

Baby counting A new report claims babies can COUNT before their second birthdays. Research undertaken in an Australian study has revealed toddlers of eighteen months old can work out quantities up to six.

During the study, researchers sat toddlers in high chairs in front of a screen showing six fish.
Whilst the tots watched the screen, a woman would either point to each of the fish in turn, while reciting the numbers one to six in the correct order, or say the numbers whilst just repeatedly pointing to two of the fish.

The 18-month-old infants were noted to be watching the first scenario - where the fish were counted in turn - for longer. Scientists say this is because they were aware that counting involves moving from object to object in order without duplication.

Babies aged 15 months old were then tested were found to be equally interested in both videos, which medics claim shows children in that age group are yet to learn the principles of counting.

The report's authors said of their findings: 'Children begin to count sometime after the age of two and their skill develops over the next several years.

'But before then, infants witness many instances of counting demonstrated by parents and older siblings.

'Our data suggest that between the ages of 15 and 18 months, infants begin to learn the abstract principles governing correct counting via exposure to their cultural counting routine.

'These results show that infants start to acquire the abstract principles governing correct counting prior to producing any counting behaviour.'

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Was your toddler able to count from a very early age?

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