It was way past their bed time. I had just finished praying maghrib, and I was spread out on Junayd’s bedroom floor. I watched as Jundee and Maymi fought over a toy car, one yelling he had it first, while the other claimed it was her who could make the claim.
I coaxed Jundee to simply take another car, and a rush of inspiration surfaced.
“Which one won the race, Jundee?” I asked.
I had a plan up my khimaar!
“That one,” he murmured, taking slight looks at his sister, waiting for a chance to pounce on the car she had in her hand.
“Oh,” I said, “So which one came next then?”
“And which one came third?”
I had always wondered how I’d tackle ordinal numbers without actually having to sit him down, and this was the perfect moment.
“Hey, why don’t you line them up for me, from first to last.”
And that’s what he did.
“So how do we count these then, in the order they won?”
I guided him through to five and he took over from there, scrurrying back and forth between his line of vehicles and his toy drawer. Then another wave of inspiration came.
“How about we match numbers to the order of cars? I’ll write the numbers and you match them.”
So I wrote numbers randomly from 1-16 (since that’s the number of vehicles he had lined up) and he placed them in front of the vehicles. Number 1 matching 1st, 2 matching 2nd and so on. It was a great way to do ordinal numbers, albeit at a late hour. But who said teaching had to be fixed to a certain time or be complicated? I say keep it simple!