Should young children count on their fingers when learning math?
You can find strong opinions on both sides of this question. (This blog post uses 4 “No’s” and 5 exclamation points to discourage parents from allowing finger counting.)
Recent research from the University of Bristol, however, suggests that finger counting–when combined with other math exercises–improves quantitative skills more than either intervention by itself.
The study design is quite complex; check the link above if you’d like the details. But, the headline is clear: for 6- and 7-year-olds, a taboo against finger counting may well hinder the development of math skills.