So the other day, I'm listening to the episode of WNYC's manneristic funhouse show Radiolab about numbers, where mad-rad new dad Jad Abumrad is talking to some developmental neuroscientist or whatever about how even babies' brains have an innate sense of logarithmic numbers, but that kids are literally incapable of counting, i.e., processing serial numbers any greater than 1 or 2, until those synapses form when they're like two-and-a-half or whenever.
And the expert's all, "Try to get a kid to count three blocks. Or four. They can't." And I'm all, "DUDE with the precious theory! You are so wrong! K2 has been wandering around the house for weeks now, counting up a storm. 4,5,6,10,8,9,10...She counts for days, and she's not even two!" I literally talked to my iPod at this point.
So I tried it, and damned if the radio scientist wasn't right the whole time! K2 can chant numbers, she can say 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, but she literally could not count 1-2-3 things. It was all, 1-2-2, 1-2-3-4-6, 1-2-4-5-6-7-10. She could not do it.
Try it at home, perhaps to take the piss out of competitive, so-advanced-for-his-age cousins at Thanksgiving!
Radiolab Episodes | Numbers [wnyc.org]