With all the modern wizardry around- from calculators to on-line budgeting tools - only dinosaurs would be seen dead reciting their times tables.
But did you know that numeracy starts in the nursery?
Yes, a recent study from the US* found that when parents spoke more number words to their infants, the kids had better mathematical knowledge at age 3. Since early mathematical ability predicts later academic achievement there's a good chance these kids would go on to do better at school.
Numeracy is an innate ability. Even pigeons can count and chimps can do fractions**. So your little ones have brains that are hard-wired to understand numbers.
Chimps also have amazing memory for numbers- bet you can't beat this one!
But I'm dead against hot-housing children so don't start teaching your toddler trigonometry whatever you do.
You could try dropping more number words into daily conversation and routines though.
Perhaps the next time your two year old has lunch, instead of saying 'I'll cut up your veggie-burger', try saying 'I'll cut your veggie-burger into four pieces'.
Of course the downside is she'll start telling you 'that's Mummy's fourth glass of wine', but by that time you'll be past caring.
*by Levine et al from University of Chicago, published in Developmental Psychology
** Woodruff, G., & Premack, D. (1981) Primitive mathematical concepts in the chimpanzee. Nature, 293, 568-570.