ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Play To Learn ~ Numbers & Counting

Monday, September 27, 2010

Play To Learn ~ Numbers & Counting

Welcome to this week’s Play To Learn feature where we are learning our numbers! Here are some helpful activities to learn number recognition, counting and writing for your preschooler.

We use a lot of variations of our number cards to learn things like number order, counting, and number recognition but I think the most effective thing we do to promote counting is our daily Calendar Time. My preschooler is in charge of putting up each new date number then we count to that number while pointing to each one as we say it. The sheer repetition is helpful in building counting skills!

We also have different themed number cards that we use with various manipulatives. We put them in order on the floor. I wrote numbers on mini-clothes pins and here she matches them to each card.


We play number hopscotch by laying out large number cards on the floor. Sometimes we do them in order, sometimes out of order and I’ll just call a number and have her hop to it.


We use fun counting cards to practice counting and number recognition at the same time. Here she is counting apple seeds then putting the correct number card next to the apple based on the amount of seeds on it.


This is a number recognition, counting and one-to-one correspondence activity. You can use the grid with stickers, pom-poms, magnets, or any other fun manipulative of your choice!


These number dot cards are helpful in showing counting along with the numbers when you are still working on number recognition. I usually do a one-to-one correspondence activity with them like the mini-clothespins or pom-poms.



Number Sticker Sheets, We use these to color, glue things to, or place stickers on. of course you put the correct number of items on each number! You can also laminate these and use them as play-doh mats!


More counting cards, as you can see we use lots of different manipulatives to practice counting. I really believe that repetition is key in getting the basic skills down, and doing something as simple as changing theme makes it seem like a new activity each time even though you’re working on the same skills! {Shhh, don’t tell!} (click here to see more of the elephants, and click here to see more dinosaurs!)

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This is a fun game called “Roll a Number”. You can use die with numbers or dots on them. The idea is to roll a number then find the associated puzzle piece to add to your picture. {Click here for the kite roll a number game}


We also practice writing our numbers. These cards are large enough that they’re easy for my preschooler to write, and they also help her to get ready for writing skills required in kindergarten. Click here for the Kite letter practice.


I downloaded a great domino game called “Domino Parking Lot”. Younger kids can count the dots and place the dominos in the correct spot. Older kids can add the 2 sides together to find the correct spot.


Here is a super cute idea from Jenae at I can Teach My Child on practicing counting with the “Ten Apples Up On Top” book by Dr. Seuss!


Those are just some ideas to help with number skills! If you have more ideas to share, or would like to be included in future “Play To Learn” posts, please email me at homeschoolerconfessions {at} gmail {dot} com, we’d love to hear from you!



  1. I love the parking lot. What a great idea.

  2. I really like the domino parking lot. Thanks for sharing

  3. Love the domino parking lot! My boy loves cars. I also like the hopscotch number idea. Thanks!

  4. I made some fabric number squares after being inspired by your post here that also incorporate colors. You can see how they turned out here

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! What great ideas!

  6. Thank you these are super cute and fun ideas :)

  7. Thank you so much for the fun idea- the Domino Parking Lot. We did a version and my little four year old LOVED it! Thank you so much for helping me make math fun.

  8. Preschoolers love themes. I am doing Johnny Appleseed to start the school year off with my now homeschooled grandson. We do science , math, reading,music, alphabet, numbers and bible and we are planning a field trip to the apple orchard I have 157 pages and a dvd and we are reading the book. He is soooooooooooo excited!!!! So much to learn!!!!