My four year old is a super counter, but she isn’t able to identify all her numbers yet, so we’ve been working on this quite a bit lately. She’s also a creative and kinesthetic kid, so I’m trying to find fun ways for her to keep practicing; after all, who likes to just copy worksheets over and over?
The last few weeks we’ve been doing a Fairy Tale unit for Alice’s school, so we’ve used some of our stories in practicing numbers. When we were doing the Three Little Pigs, I printed out hoof prints and numbered them 1-10 and then we practiced putting them in order from house to house. We did this several times over the week and the hoof prints (which I got from an old Mailbox magazine, but would be easy to make without a pattern) also made great flash cards. This week we started Little Red Riding Hood and I put little label stickers with numbers on some of our play food (this set is one of our favorites!) and then hid the food pieces around the living room. Alice had to go find all of the food and put it in her basket to take to Grandma and when she was done, we put all of the food in number order. It was great practice for her and while she was searching for the food it gave me a bit of time to go over an assignment with my son!
Here are a few more ideas for practicing numbers that will hopefully keep your child engaged and learning!
- Number Tower: I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls for a while so I need to get started on this easy and fun way to practice number order!
- Active Math Games: Pieces by Polly shares some really cute fabric numbers and some games to go along with them. Thankfully for those of us who are not great seamstresses, you can make these pretty easily with some construction paper and they will be just as good!
- Finger Counting Printables: These free printables from Growing in Pre K are another way to practice numbers. She also shares a few other ideas from around the web.
- Number Anchor Charts: Yes, you could probably make these on your own, but for just $5, it’s worth it to me to purchase these and print them off. I’ve bought several items from Cara Carroll and have always been pleased with them.
- Peggy Kaye Books: Peggy Kaye has some wonderful and simple ideas for learning games. You can download some of them for free on her website, but I have purchased four of her books and think they are well worth the money! My son loved one of the addition games so much he still asks to play it sometimes and I was able to adapt it to a number recognition game for my daughter, too.
- Counting Activities: Having Fun at Home has several fun counting activities linked from around the web.
Remember that it’s going to take some time for most kids to master number recognition, so be prepared to practice a lot! Making it fun for your child will also make it a little less tedious for you, too!