Building strong math skills is something that will benefit your child for years to come and you can start much earlier than you may think. Toddlers and preschoolers (and even babies) encounter math and opportunities to build those skills.
One of the basic skills of math is counting. And by counting, I mean actually counting items, not reciting numbers in sequential order.
Here are two very simple counting games that you can do with your toddler or preschooler to help them with counting.
This is a fun activity that we did as part of our barn animal theme. You could do a theme or do it as it’s one activity. It’s a perfect activity whether your little one is just learning to count or already has a pretty good handle on it.
Make a "pen" with the blocks. (This is a great thing to include your child in.) Pull out some cotton balls to be your "sheep" and put them in a pile by the blocks.
Tell your child that the cotton balls are sheep and they need to go in their pen. Help your child collect the sheep and place them in the pen, counting each one. Encourage your toddler to her pointer finger and thumb when picking up the sheep. If you have tongs, you can use those to pick up the "sheep", too.
For older toddlers or preschoolers that have a pretty good grasp of counting, you can incorporate dice or another way of choosing numbers and have your child place the number of sheep you request.
Counting Pom Poms
10 Red Pom Pom’s
Foam numbers (you can also write the numbers on small square pieces of paper or card stock)
2 bowls or containers
Place the red pom poms in one container and the numbers in another.
Have your child choose a number from one container and then have him count the matching number of pom poms (“apples”). Keep the number out of the container and play until you go through each number or for as long as your child has interest.
If you want to add a fine motor skill element to this apple counting game, you can give your child tongs.
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.