A Guide to Counting Activities

This “A Guide to Counting Activities” post is brought to us by Julie Kieras of HappyStrongHome.com

Preschoolers are extremely interested in counting. They want to know how many snacks they’re getting, how many minutes they have to take a nap, how many days until their next birthday.

Building counting activities into your preschoolers day can be easy and as fun as singing a song, jumping around, or playing with toys!

Guide to Counting

Singing Numbers

Songs like “Five Little Monkeys” or “The Ants Go Marching” are a great way to introduce counting to the youngest learners. Children learn songs quickly, so they’ll quickly be singing and counting without even knowing! Try changing the words to count whatever they are playing with or as they put away toys away (“The Toys go Marching”).

One-to-One Correspondence

One to One Correspondence

Teach children that each item counts as “one.” Children have a way of counting fast while sweeping over groups of items. Help them to avoid miscounting by having them touch each item they are counting with their finger. This physical activity will slow them down and help them focus on their counting. We find it helpful to use an abacus where our son can slide each bead over as he counts. The best part about an abacus is that it makes no mess and allows children to count as high as one hundred!

Match Counting

Another abacus counting method is to have your child “match count” with you. First you count out beads on one line (start with three for the very young, and move up). Then the child matches your count on the row below you. Continue down the rows using more numbers and letting them match you.

Skip Counting
Skip Counting with Stacking Toys

Otherwise known as counting by 2’s, 3’s, 5’s and so forth. My son loves using sets of toys like his Wooden Stack & Count Parking Garage to count in sets. Stack your sets up and slide them over as you count: 2-4-6-8-10!

Skip Counting Play

Addition and Subtraction

Adding Subtracting Activities

Stacking toys are great tools for children to practice addition and subtraction. Stack up 5-10 items and count. Then remove one and ask how many are left. Children will count again. The parking garage our son plays with also shows the numeral next to the top car, so children can check their answer as each car is removed. Sliding beads across the abacus also works well to show how to add or subtract items.

Number Recognition

Another important aspect of counting is learning the numeral figure/symbol that goes along with each count. For instance, that “3” equals three items. I find placing our counted items on an oversized playing card (or printable!) helps children understand the connection between the number symbol and their counting.

Counting Printable outlined

This printable set comes with 10 numbered activity pages, and instructions. Children will learn their numbers and build counting skills effortlessly when they’re learning though games and play!

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  1. Tameka Dickens says:

    love the ideas!