Teaching kids their numbers doesn’t need to be tricky – it can truly be as easy as 1, 2, 3! The trick is to know exactly what you need to teach.
Counting activities for preschoolers should be fun and engaging. I have found some great ones to share with you. Just before we dive into this, I want to clarify something.
There are 3 distinct parts of teaching preschoolers their numbers:
- Number Recognition
- One-to-one Correspondence
So, what exactly are these three things and how do they make up the foundation for preschool math?
Counting is simply reciting the numbers aloud and can be taught through songs and play. Counting activities for kids are different than seeing a ‘2’ and counting to 2 – counting is simply practicing the order of the numbers, saying aloud, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10”
recognizing numbers is the skill of seeing a “4” and knowing it is a “Four”.
And finally, one-to-one correspondence is counting objects one at a time – such as counting 6 ducks on a page in a book.
Now that we know there are 3 separate areas for teaching children their numbers, it helps us to understand why this skill can take some time for little ones to learn. Playing with all three of these areas is key!
I write in detail about oodles of ways to practice all of these skills (as well as the other 4 math skills preschoolers need to be kindergarten ready) in my eBook, Play into Math Readiness.
Today, I thought I would share a few fun activities you can play with your preschoolers to help them with these skills. For the sake of simplicity, I will call these skills Counting Activities for Preschoolers – even though we know there is more at play here than only counting.
Simple Counting Activities for Preschoolers:
- Learning numbers with painters tape: this game is a favourite at home. We love painters tape and use it for playing pretty much daily! For this activity I shaped the painters tape into numbers and we played lots of games. Sam loves when I call out a number and action, like ” sit on the number 4″ or “do a donkey kick on the number 7”
- Popcorn snowman counting is such a fun preschoolers number game. Little ones can add popcorn “snowballs” to their snowmen counting aloud as they go! This activity also ties in one-to-one correspondence, making it an ideal math activity for preschoolers
- This counting game is full of magic! What is the number that you see? If you are correct, you will know straight away due to an explosion! (Well, preschoolers will think it’s an explosion anyways!)
- This cloud hopping game by Learn Play Imagine is a great way to practice number recognition with preschoolers! It is one of my boys favourite counting activities right now.
- My kids love playing with blocks, and writing the numerals on the side is a great way to practice number recognition. The Imagination Tree wrote about many math activities they use with homemade number blocks.
- This Monster Number activity was done for Halloween, but could easily be adapted to fit any time of year! It is a very fun a and simple craft, and excellent for practicing number recognition and tons of other math activities for preschoolers too!
- Hands on as We Grow has a fun Number Recognition Maze – a fun and playful preschool number activity!
- Dot-to-dots are a great way to practice number recognition. B Inspired Mama has a fantastic idea for making a huge dot to dot perfect for preschoolers!
- Here is a great number song for practicing number formation on Youtube by Dr. Jean. It is also a great rhyming way to help wee ones remember which number is which!
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful – they really are fun ways to practice the skill of recognizing numbers. Teaching kids their numbers is really as easy as 1 (counting), 2 (recognizing numbers), and 3 (one-to-one correspondence)!
If you want to learn more playful ways to get your little one Kindergarten Ready for Math, please be sure to check out my eBook, Play into Math Readiness!
Thank you so much for reading friends, I hope you are having a wonderful day!