I first decided that teaching Jacob our phone number was important when we were planning our vacation this past spring. We love the national parks, and we usually drive to our destination so we can stop at other points along the way.
This year we planned on going to Washington state (from Indiana), so we would have to take an airplane. What fun!
As we were planning, my mind drifted to the airport. To save money, we were planning on trying to carry on most of our luggage. 3 personal items, 3 carry-ons, a car seat, and a c-pap machine. Two adults and a 3-year-old. Oh, and we were taking our child carrier backpack to check at the gate. Totally do-able. (Were we out of our minds? YES.)
It’s been forever since I’ve been at the airport. How busy would it be? What if we were distracted carrying all of that luggage and Jacob got separated from us? Would he know what to do?
What if we were in Washington and he got separated from us? How would we ever find him? (I’m sure you understand a mama’s heart…)
Jacob’s never met a stranger, and his ability to talk with anyone amazes me. (As an introvert myself, I sometimes think my 4-year-old is better at conversations than I am.) Still, I wanted to be sure he knew our phone number, so if something would happen he had a chance of getting in contact with us.
It didn’t take me long to teach him our phone number. Here are some of the ways we made it fun!
Activities to Teach Your Child His Phone Number
Sing Your Phone Number
My favorite way to teach anything is to put it to song! ABC’s, how to spell your name, counting, even the routine for going to the potty… singing is a very effective way to learn! Sing your phone number to the tune of Jingle Bells- 123-456-7890, that’s my mommy’s phone number, I can call it any time! 123-456-7890, that’s my mommy’s phone number I can call it anytime. Sing in the car, in the tub, on a walk…randomly sing it and your child will never forget your phone number.
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Fitting Your Phone Number into Imaginative Play
Play doctor with your child. When your child is the patient, make them “register” before their appointment. Ask them their address and phone number before their appointment begins. Write it on a piece of paper and show it to them so they can check to see if it’s correct.
After they have registered, they can see the doctor. If they’ve hurt their toe, guess what. As the doctor, you’ve decided they need a new toe! You must call the toe store to see if they have any of the correct size toe in stock. You’ll never believe it but the toe store has to check so they will call you back. What’s the phone number they call? Ask your child their phone number again. (As parents we are masters at making up these silly little games, aren’t we?! Well, kids think this is hilarious!)
When the toe store calls back, they don’t have good news. They have to order the toe your child needs. (Toes in our toe store only come in boy/girl and age sizes. Right now we need a 4-year-old boy toe. Sometimes if we are lucky they have different colors in stock too…) The toe store then needs to double-check the phone number (tell them again) and you need to give them your child’s address so they can ship the toe to the right house when they have it in stock!
Your goal? Repeat your phone number as many times as you can during this doctor’s appointment! You’ll find when your child is the doctor, they will also ask you for your phone number. Bonus practice!
Play with Numbers
Give your child numbers (from blocks, puzzles, or even number cards you’ve made) and see if they can put them in the order of your phone number. You may need to work on number recognition first.
Use a Phone Keypad
Once your child knows your phone number, you can teach him to make a phone call. Print numbers and tape them to your wall like the keypad of a phone, and have him practice dialing your phone number. (Don’t forget to teach him to press the call button!) You can also draw a keypad on the driveway with chalk and have your child jump on the numbers to dial your phone number.
Teach Your Child How to Use Your Phone
I am pretty protective of my phone. I am careful about limiting screen time and other than looking at pictures once in a while and facetime, my boys don’t get my phone. At all. This is important for their developing brains, but if they had to make a phone call I’m not sure they would know what to do!
Remember to show your child how to either unlock your phone, or if you have a passcode, show them how to use the emergency feature. Teach them how to dial your number and find the number of someone they know and trust (like Grandma) if something were to happen to you.
With a Little Intention, Teaching Your Child His Phone Number is Simple
What I’ve found is with a little intentional play, your child will pick up your phone number surprisingly quickly. Your child has heard you tell many people your number throughout their whole life, and with these tricks and a little repetition, they will know their phone number in no time!
What are your favorite activities for teaching your child their phone number?