Everyone’s toddler has counted to the tune of 5,6, 1, 9, 3. And every parent giggles and then says “repeat after me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.” It’s all fun and cute. However, at some point your little one does need to learn how to count and you can help them learn. Summer time is the perfect time to focus on teaching your child to count and preparing them for Preschool or Kinder. Here are a few activities to help teach your child to count.
Using Little Toddler Fingers to Count
Every good counter starts by using their fingers to count. The best part of fingers is they are FREE, but they also work as a great manipulative for learning how to count. You can also use toes for learning how to count. Fingers and toes also work great for when your kiddo is learning to count by fives.
Some children learn better when they sit down and do a activity. This is where printables come in. There are so many free worksheets online that will help with teaching your child counting skills. One of our favorites is the carrot patch. Each sheet has a number and you use cut out carrots to show what number it is. We do 4H and have a rabbit so this one really caught my sons attention. It also works on fine motor skills because of the cutting and the fitting the carrot in the slit. If you want to try the one we love here is a Free Printable.
Sing the Number Song
I know you’ve heard of “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive…” While this song can be annoying, it’s a great way to help your little one learn how to count. If you don’t want to use this song, you can make up your own! Singing is a catchy way to help your little one learn to count.
Magnets on the Fridge
I love using magnets on the fridge because it not only can help little ones learn how to count, it can help them get a visual for numbers. Numbers are something kids will be dealing with the rest of their lives, you can never introduce them to numbers too early. Plus, magnets are a fun manipulative for kids to play with and inexpensive too!
Let Them Play with Blocks
Believe it or not, but blocks are great for building, but they also work wonders in the learning to count department. You can easily help your little one count the blocks they’re playing with. Even if your kiddo only practices going up to 5 or 10, they’re learning so much. While you’re at it, you can even practice colors with your little one.
Use a Number Line
Some kids are visual, so this makes the most sense when you’re trying to show a child how numbers move up or down. You can make a number line all by yourself with a piece of paper and a marker or any other writing utensils. Just draw a line then put dots or dashes along the line. Number each dot or dash. Then use the visual aid to teach your kidoo. By using a number line, you’re helping your little one learn to count. This is also a very simple way to show them how to count and what numbers look like!
Get Out the M&Ms
If your kiddos loves chocolate and want to learn how to count, then M&Ms will do the trick. Ask them to group certain numbers. A good example would be “show me one blue M&M.” Or “show me 3 yellow M&Ms.” This is another visual way you can show your little one how to count.
All kiddos love money. Encouraging counting by using pennies can be helpful. I like to tell my son he can keep what he counts as a better incentive. It is also helpful with learning adding and subtraction. For example place 5 pennies on the table and ask if I add 2 how many do I have and then let them count it out.
You can make any activity into a learning opportunity. My children set the table so I will ask my youngest to please get 6 forks or 3 spoons. That way he needs to count. When folding laundry I will ask him to put away 10 pairs of socks. Basically find moments in the day that they can count it out. This will not only provide a visual but it will make counting more of a normal thing to do vs a sit down and learn thing.
What are some activities you have used to show your little one how to count?