Teaching counting can be an enjoyable experience for you and your child. Just make a game of it! The following game is fast and easy to make. You can use a variety of materials that you already have around the house. You may want to consider using cereal or candies. Kids love using edible items as learning tools. Another item you can use is an egg carton. Use a marker to write the number on each opening to correlate with how many items your child places in the space. If you do not want to hunt down a bunch of items you can cut out your own counters from construction paper.
What You Need:
- Sectioned veggie tray, or any tray with multiple sections (and ideally a center section, too)
- 20 pennies, erasers, plastic rings, or other small items
- Small sticky notes, or scrap paper and tape
What You Do:
- Using a dozen or so Post Its, write a number on each. For a very small child, you can provide a “clue”, by drawing dots beside the number. With an older preschooler, write the number word, in addition to the symbol, for example, both “five” and “5”.
- Place a numbered post-it in each section of the veggie tray.
- Put the pennies, erasers, or other small item in the center section, where the dip would normally go. Ask your child to pick a “section” and identify the number. Next, tell her she’s going to find that number of items.
- Help her count each penny individually, speaking the number aloud, and then moving the coins as she goes into the section.
- Repeat with each of the sections, working on one number at a time. When your child has finished all the sections of the tray, you can reset it with new numbers, or keep practicing the same ones until she’s got them down pat.