COUNTING AND NUMBER RECOGNITION
Updated: Jul 9
Learning to count and recognise numbers is a lot of fun! Opportunities can be found every day through play. When counting, children should be encouraged to line objects up and touch each one as they count. Remind them to say only one number for each object. Here's a selection of ideas which are quick and easy to set up:
With the current global pandemic, handwashing provides an ideal chance to practice counting to 20! Encourage your child to count in different voices: loud/quiet/deep/high/monster/lion, etc.
Use loose parts (buttons, pine cones, pom poms, sticks, etc.) to make pictures and then count the number of each item used.
Learn number rhymes: e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive; 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe; 5 Little Monkeys, 5 Currant Buns.
Count with a puppet. The puppet could make deliberate mistakes for your child/children to correct! Hold up the correct number of fingers as you count.
Blow bubbles outdoors – how many can you pop? Who can pop the most? Can you pop more the next time?
Count as you go up and downstairs.
Count whilst banging a drum/tambourine, shaking bells.
Say a number and ask your child to count that many cubes out of the tub to make a tower.
Take a handful of toy dinosaurs and count how many you have.
Sand timer games: how many pegs can you put on a pegboard/beads can you thread/pompoms can you collect with tweezers in 1 minute?
Use a parachute full of balls. Throw the balls up and count how many are left in the parachute and how many are on the ground.
Challenge children to tidy away 10/20 things at tidy up time!
Splat the number – lay out number cards on the floor. Give a fly swatter to swat the number which is called out.
Count together using a giant/mouse/whisper/scary voice, whilst pointing to a large number line.
Write down some tiny numbers for the children to read using magnifying glasses.
Go on a number hunt - take binoculars and telescopes to aid the search! Can children spot numbers on doors, registration plates, etc?
Take a handful of cubes each, count them and then find the matching number card.
Throw beanbags onto a number target mat (or numbers written in chalk outside).
Stick numbers to toy cars and ask children to say the number on their car.
Hide numbers outside - challenge children to find and say the numbers.
Put numbers in a bag or hat - children pick a number out and say it.
Make numbered road signs for children to drive their toy car past.
Write numbers on tiny pieces of paper. Children can pick them up using tweezers and then read them with a magnifying glass.
Make numbers using feathers. Stick them down on card and ask your child to trace over each number with a finger.
Write numbers on paper plates - children can attach the correct number of pegs to each one.
Make the imprint of numbers into playdough. Children roll a marble around each number.
Check out these engaging printable and digital number games and activities!
If you like the look of these activities, make sure that you also take a look at: