I was busy, busy creating a blog post about number activities for preschoolers. I want to share awesome resources with you, after all! But then, the Mama in me got to thinking. How do you teach preschoolers numbers?
Luckily, the teacher in me jumped out right then. Why through PLAY of course!
It was at that moment that I realized my preschooler was doing a lot of the work for me with this post. I mean, our little ones learn every day as they play!
Number activities for preschoolers can be so very simple. As I was watching my little guy play, I thought of some helpful little number tricks I could add in. The result? 50 Fantastic number activities that are ALL play based, easy, and fun!
So, here is to keeping things light and fun, just as preschool learning is supposed to be, right?
50 Fantastic Number Activities for Preschoolers
I hope you find these number learning games for kids helpful – as that is certainly the intent. To know that our little ones are exposed to numbers everyday and learn them quite naturally – with just a tiny bit of Mama help 🙂 So … Here we go!
1. Scavenger Hunt – Go on a hunt to find something of which you have one (maybe a cat), and then two (firemen hats), three, and so on
2. Play hide the number with a Kleenex box – place a number of blocks inside a kleenex box, have your child use only his sense of touch to figure out how many blocks are inside
3. Write chalk numbers on the sidewalk and erase with a squirt gun. Call out a number and have your wee one erase it using a squirt gun filled with water.
4. Eat your numbers. Prepare a snack with yummy food shaped as numbers. Food number learning games for kids are always a hit!
5. Put numbers on the floor with painters tape – hop the numbers, scavenge the numbers (2 hats for number 2), or trace the numbers. These activities are my favourite number activities for preschoolers! So simple!
6. Play hopscotch – outside (with chalk) or inside (with tape)
7. Count at the park – pushes on a swing, times down a slide, or number of rings on a ladder – the learning games for kids at a park are endless.
8. Use Playdoh to write your numbers
9. Write numbers in the dirt with a stick
10. Apple Stamp – write numbers on a piece of paper and stamp apples 5 times on the number 5, etc.
11. Play simple card games like snap or war (these are simple matching learning games for kids where you seek cards that are the same or are higher than your partners)
12. Finger Counting Poems – use your fingers as 5 little monkeys and say, “5 little monkeys swinging in a tree, along care a crocodile quiet as can be, the first monkey said you can’t catch me – SNAP! … 4 little monkeys, etc.” At the end, the last lucky little monkey survives – saying ‘missed me’!
13. 100 Jars – put 100 items in jars – 100 buttons, cheerios, pasta noodles, anything! These are great learning games for kids to help them understand that 100 things can look very different. 100 toy cars will look very different then 100 beans, but they both contain 100 items.
14. Write numbers on paper plates and have your kids use them as stepping stones to get across hot lava, calling out the numbers as they go
15. Match cards with numbers written on them to piles of smarties – add in a colour challenge too!
16. Put numbers in a bin of water for kids to explore
17. Freeze peas in ice cubes and have your wee ones try to count the peas
18. Hide numbers in a sensory bin to find and order
19. Play with stickers – put the right number of stickers beside each number
20. clothespin match games. Make a card with number dots and add numbers to clothespins for matching. Clip the clothespin to the right number of dots for more structured learning games for kids. Sometimes wee ones need a bit more structure when they are learning skills.
21. Make a bin full of items and sort into number groups (5 buttons go in a group with 5 pasta)
22. Make Shape pictures (or shape snacks!) – cut out numbers from construction paper and let your wee one construct number house, people, animals …
23. Paper Chains – count how many paper links you can make on a chain. This is a great learning game for kids to do during the Holidays.
24. Duplo Block Match – Write numbers on duplo blocks and write corresponding dots on other duplo blocks. Have your child match them
25. Write numbers on a piece of paper and dot – call out a number and have your child dot them with a bingo dabber
26. Make Popsicle stick puzzles. For example, use 3 Popsicle stick to write the number 3 and let your little one try to construct the puzzle.
27. Roll dice and race your little one to call out the number that lands on the top
28. Build towers that are one block tall, two blocks tall, three …
29. Cut numbers out of felt and use them on a felt board
30. Put beads on pipe cleaners labelled with numbers – six beads on the one labelled with a 6, and so on
31. Go fishing and catch magnet numbers with a fishing rod with a paperclip ‘hook’, or catch a certain number of fish. These learning games for kids are very engaging – and great for the kitchen sink when trying to prepare dinner!
32. Use a calendar to mark special days. Count how many days are left until an event
33. Use bingo dabbers to trace numbers (much easier then crayons or pencils for little hands)
34. Give your child socks from the laundry to count and match
35. Use plastic Easter Eggs to match dots with numbers (one half of the egg is dots, the other half the number)
36. Cut up pool noodles and throw them in the bath for your child to try to count – add more or take some out and keep playing
37. Write numbers on balloons. When the balloon comes to you, bounce it as many times as the number on the balloon.
38. Glue buttons onto numbered people, snowmen, or gingerbread men
39. Bake and follow a visual recipe
40. Go on a walk outside and see how high you can get finding numbers – start with one, look on address plates, license plates, etc
41. Put numbers on bottles and go bowling – try to get the most points by hitting the biggest numbers
42. Give your child baggies labelled with numbers for him to put collections in
43. Tape string across a hallway (like a ladder laying down). Label each string with a number. Jump and count!
44. Read number books, like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, By Eric Carle. Number learning games for kids can happen very naturally while reading. Ask your wee ones questions as you go.
45. Sing number songs (This Old Man and 5 Little Monkeys are our favourites right now!)
46. Play with dominoes – build, match, count
47. Throw a sticky ball of tape at numbers – whatever number the ball sticks to, do an action that many times (touch the ground, run in a circle, )
48. Play very Simple Board Games – roll a dice and count the squares. These learning games for kids teach much more then math too – they teach turn taking, social skills, and sportsmanship!
49. Play “What time is it Mr. Wolf”
50. Play “Guess How Many Steps” throughout your house. Guess how many steps it will take us to get to the kitchen? Guess how may steps to the store? Count as you go. These number learning games for kids can serve as a great distraction to get your toddler or preschooler where you need him to go.
That is a lot of number activities for preschoolers! So the next time you feel overwhelmed about all you need to do as a Mama – take a minute to play (and your little ones will learn their numbers while you’re at it!)
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