For example, some programs use incentive tools similar to those found in video games. Each time a child completes a satisfactory score on a worksheet, the program congratulates them and gives them a score. With each level, the score increases. After a certain number of points, the student reaches a named level, such as captain or commodore.
While the newer method does require computer access for every child, most schools now have that capability. As children do more hands-on learning on computers and less in books, these programs are capable of reaching them on a level they can understand.
I have observed teachers who really challenge their students to achieve higher order thinking These teachers take their students as early as the Second Grade and teach them how to add, subtract, multiply and divide using only their bran. We call this Mental Math. When I observed a Second Grade Class that had their students mentally answering math computation questions, I put my own son in that class. Shortly after being enrolled, He, too, learned how to do Mental Math. From that point on, math was my son's best subject. Teachers can really make a difference and parents can help affect change.
Go on a counting scavenger hunt! For young children, you can keep the hunt simple and indoors, go on a hunt and count how many bedrooms, windows, doors, bathrooms, etc are in your house. For older children, you can even take this adventure outside. Look for certain kinds of animals, plants, flowers, you name it! Add in another element of fun (for any age) and create a graph for them to track their finds!