Abacus Finger Theory

Maths learning can be an incredible experience for the child. In fact, it can be as enjoyable as reading a fairy tale or a bedtime story. While this may come as a surprise to most parents, some, who know the Abacus finger theory trick, would be nodding their heads in agreement. What is so special about this theory is that children are able to calculate with digits up to 99 just by using certain special finger combinations. Thus it is a great way of inculcating basic computational and mental mathematics skills in young children.

Finger significance

There are certain simple steps involved in the finger method and a procedure that needs to be followed like:

  • Zero is represented by placing a closed fist on a flat surface in front of the child.
  • All other fingers other than the thumb represent 1 individually.
  • Thus while placing the closed fist on a flat surface and extending one finger represents 1, two finger extension means 2.
  • Extending and pressing down the ring finger and pinky finger represents 3 and 4 respectively.
  • 5 is represented by the thumb of the right hand.
  • The thumb of the right hand along with the index finger of the same hand signifies 6, the thumb and middle finger 7 and so on.
  • Fingers of the left hand have other higher significance wherein:
    • The index finger means 10,
    • The middle finger 20,
    • The ring finger 30,
    • The pinky finger 40 and
    • The thumb signifies 50.

Calculating up to 99

This can be easily done once a child becomes thorough with the significance and the digit representations of the fingers. After this using the following steps, the child is able to calculate till 99. The steps involved and processes followed are:

  • With the index finger of the left hand pressed down, if a child presses the index of the right hand, he indicates 11; the index of the left hand along with the middle of right hand indicates 12, etc. This enables a child to count to 19.
  • After this, the right fingers and the thumb needs to be lifted. Extending and pressing the left index finger helps a child count till 20.
  • In the same way, he is able to count till 30, then 40 and so on till he reaches the count of 99.

This method is very simple and easy to use and thus appeals to the young mind which is yet to fully understand the implications and advantages of studies. The Abacus Finger Theory is thus able to achieve a singular goal of incorporating the basics of mathematics in a child, but in a very interesting, playful and exciting manner.