Preschoolers are a ball of fire – full of energy, enthusiasm, and zeal. At the same time, it can be a daunting challenge to keep them entertained all the while engaging them in learning basic skills. Preschool is the age when kids are introduced to counting.
Kids have a short attention span. They tend to get distracted easily even by the chirping sound of birds outside. One way is to engage them in games and activities that can contribute to their education, and keep them busy and engrossed too.
Games and activities are a proven interactive way of involving kids in learning along with keeping their attention and focus for a longer period of time. Preschool is the crucial age as the child starts to observe the surroundings and accordingly develops certain skills. Hence, the Selection of games and activities for toddlers should be properly taken care of.
In this post, we will explore engaging counting games that can help preschoolers develop more than just the skill to know numbers. Read more below:
Engaging games for boosting counting skills in preschoolers
1. Dot-to-Dot Counting Games
Dot-to-dot games are not only fun, but they also help preschoolers develop fine motor skills and number recognition. To play, simply give your child a dot-to-dot printable (you can find many online or in coloring books). Your child will then connect the dots in order, counting as they go. Once they reach the final dot, they will have created a picture!
To make the activity even more fun, parents and teachers can ask the students how many dots did you just connected?
2. Counting Mats
Counting mats are a great way to help preschoolers practice one-to-one correspondence (matching each object to one number). There are many different ways to use these mats. For example, you can give your child a set of objects and have your child place the corresponding number of objects on each mat. You can also use counting mats to play matching games. Simply print out two sets of mats (one with numbers and one with objects) and mix them up. Your child will then match the mats with the same number of objects.
3. Learning Number with Icecream
Ice Cream” Summer Math is a game that helps students practice their counting skills. In the game, the educator or parent needs to cut an ice cream cone-like triangle from brown paper, and mark each one of them with some numbers. The educators can mark each of these from 1-15.
Next, the teacher or the educator needs some pompoms or any colorful paper rolled into balls. The adult moderating the activity must ask the kids to now place the number of balls as per the number written on the ice cream cone. For example: If the ice cream cone says “5” the number of paper balls or pompoms to be placed above the ice cream cone-like paper triangle should be counted to 5 and kept.
This game is a great way for students to learn how to count, as well as improve their hand-eye coordination and memory skills.
4. Simon Says
Simon Says is a classic game that can be played with any number of players. The game’s object is to follow the instructions of “Simon,” who is chosen to be the leader. For example, Simon will give instructions such as “Simon says count the number of chairs around you” or “Simon says count your breath in a minute’s time.”
The players must only do the action if Simon begins the instruction with “Simon says.” If Simon does not say “Simon says,” then the players must not do the action. The game is over when a player makes a mistake, and either does an action they should not have done or fails to do an action they should have done.
The objective behind the game is to follow instructions carefully which helps kids in listening and following them whereas, counting notions as suggested by Simon. This game improves the number skills and overall motor ability of an individual.
5. Cookie Counting Game
This game is a delicious way to practice counting! To play, simply give each player a plate with a certain number of cookies on it. The game’s object is to be the first to eat all your cookies.
But there’s a catch! Every time you take a bite of a cookie, you must say the number corresponding to the number of bites you have taken. For example, if you take two bites of a cookie, you would say “two” as you take the second bite. If you take three bites of a cookie, you would say “three” as you take the third bite. The first player to finish all of their cookies wins!
6. Feed the Lion
Feed the Lion is a game that teaches preschoolers how to count. The game’s objective is to feed the Lion as many pieces of food as possible. For this, a box can be cut from the middle and should imitate the mouth of the lion. To make the box attractive and as per the activity’s theme, a printout of a lion can be pasted on the box. Player 1 must start by feeding as many pieces of snacks or candies in 1 minute. While one continues doing so, the kid’s partner needs to keep counting alongside to provide an ideal figure to win. However, the snacks must be put in the lion’s mouth, inside the box.
Once done, the same drill must be repeated with reverse rolls wherein the one counting previously must feed the Lion this time, whereas the one feeding previously should count. Whosoever wins the round with the most amount of food fed wins. The game is designed to help preschoolers with reckoning skills. It is also beneficial for eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Feed the Lion is a fun and educational game that all ages can enjoy.
7. Number Memory Game
This game can be played with any number of players. You will need a deck of cards with numbers on them (you can find many printable versions online). To play, each player looks at the cards and memorizes where the numbers are. Then, the cards are turned over so that the numbers are hidden.
The first player flips over two cards, trying to find a match. They keep the pair and take another turn if they find a match. If they do not find a match, they must return the cards to their original positions, and the next player takes their turn. The game is over when all of the pairs have been found. The player with the most pairs is the winner!
Games that you can play online
Helping students with number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, basic math skill, and understanding, counting is an important skill for preschoolers. In addition, learning to count can be fun for kids if they are engaged in activities they enjoy.
Preschoolers can play many online games to help them practice their number skills. Here are 7 of the best online counting games for preschoolers:
1. Counting Caterpillars
In this game, kids help the caterpillars reach the leaves by counting and clicking on the correct number. To start playing, kids need to click on the number of caterpillars that are shown on the screen. The caterpillars will then climb up to the leaves. The caterpillars will fall off the leaves if you click on the wrong number.
This is a great game for helping kids with number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.
2. Sesame Street: Cookie Count
In this game, kids help Cookie Monster eat as many cookies as he can. They do this by counting the cookies and clicking on the correct number. The game can be played on Nintendo Wii, which is an absolute treat for those who love sesame treats or is a fan of puppet shows.
Kids need to click on the number of cookies shown on the screen while playing. Cookie Monster will then eat the cookies. However, if you click on the wrong number, Cookie Monster will be unable to eat the cookies and lose his run to eat as many cookies as he wants.
3. Counting Fish
In this game, the players are shown a number of different fishes on the screen, and the little learners need to count the number of fishes being displayed and then choose the correct option. The game requires the players to tap on each fish to make the counting process easier for them.
With each round, multiple fishes are added to the virtual tank, which the little learners need to count. However, the kids must look out for the sea monster as they can eat the fish and mess up with the count.
This game can be a great way to teach the kids the nitty gritty to enumerate smaller numbers, as while counting the fishes, they will subconsciously attempt to find the answer, enabling them to become masters at counting.
Daily Activities To Practice Counting
As a parent, you might wonder how to help your child learn to count. After all, being able to count is a critical foundation for math skills. A research article states that “most researchers agree that the use of games can improve the achievement of mathematics subjects.” One way to help your child learn to count is using counting games. One can use everyday objects to help their child count. For example:
- when you are cooking dinner together, ask them to help you count the number of potatoes or carrots that you are using
- when you are out on a family drive, ask your kid to count the number of cars passing
- while eating, ask your kid to help you layout the table and make them count the total number of plates or bowls laid out for serving
- you can even introduce them to your family tree and make them count the total number of family members- generation wise
- You can help kids distribute treats on their birthday and make them count the number of chocolates distributed.
This way they will inculcate counting in everything they do.
The idea including such activities in everyday chores to help them acquainted with 1-2-3 as they are acquainted with A-B-C. Such numerical practices not only give them proper practical exposure to numbers but help them learn it by heart, ensuring no scope of amiss.
Games are helpful in developing other skills as well such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and logic. As number recognition and enumeration are important skills for preschoolers to learn. In addition, these simple games will help your child to develop their numeracy skills.
These games will also help your child develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Helping kids keep track of numbers can help them practice these skills fun and interactive.
Gamification is a great way for students to develop counting skills and other important skills such as critical thinking and logic. These games can be played alone or with friends and family, making them a fun and interactive way to learn. So, if you are looking for a fun and educational activity for your child, consider playing a game that can help them develop the skill to number in series. Not only are they educational, but they’ll also keep your little one entertained for hours on end. And who knows? You may even learn a thing or two yourself!
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,