Hands On Counting Game for Kids

Hands On Counting Game for Kids

Inside: hands on counting activity for toddlers and preschool

Ready to practice counting? Grab your dot stickers and markers to get started.

We all know that counting is important.

However, what is more important is that children are touching the objects as they count.

By Kindergarten, children will be asked to understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

Beth, what does this mean?!

What this means is that we want preschoolers to practice pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.

How we do this, is we ask our children to TOUCH THE OBJECT as we COUNT ALOUD.

RELATED: 20+ hands on activities you can keep at home, rather than searching the internet.

counting activity for preschool

This Breakfast Invitation was a HUGE hit.

In fact, we have played it 3 times since. Each time with more vigor for larger numbers and confidence in counting.

Breakfast Invitations are the best because they allow us all to use our brains in the morning rather than having to drag children away from the television. Been there, done that. It always drained their creativity for the rest of the day.

At the end of this post you can see that Feed the Sharks turned into a gigantic coloring sheet where the shark needed to eat “100 fish”. Now 100 is a bit of an exaggeration. But it did allow me to put my feet up and brew some tea. #winforall

Allowing some creativity and flexibility is key.

Children need to take ownership in their play and learning. You can read more about the stages of learning here. The things my 3.5 year old said as he was adding color and stickers on his own were so inspiring to hear. It was a creative explosion of storytelling!

Draw four sharks.

Label each shark with a number.

Draw fish on each dot sticker.

Invite your preschooler to Feed the Shark with the correct number of fish. Encourage them to say the number aloud every time a new fish is added. If they lose track, simply say, “Let’s count again. Here we have one, two, three, four…”

preschool counting activity

Let’s get counting!

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Supplies are simple!

Set up this counting game today!

I began by Googling my iPhone for “kid shark pictures”. Seeing some other quick and easy sharks gave me a simple guideline to draw for myself.

I drew four sharks because I knew that I could add more once they were complete.

I wanted to invite my preschooler into a Breakfast Invitation counting activity that wasn’t too complex or busy.

I also kept the numbers to where he is currently at. Remember, there is a LOT OF POWER in playing with numbers 1-10 over and over again. We want kids to truly understand what each number name represents.

Sometimes, it can be tempting to shoot for the moon! Now, add 27 fish! But wait a second and dive deep into 1-10. Show that 8 is still 8 regardless of how it is rearranged.

preschool counting activity

Try these other counting activities to help practice grouping numbers:

Count and Move

Counting with Blocks

Grouping Game

Busy Toddler does a great job decomposing numbers in her Playing Preschool Program

Don’t forget to allow some creative freedom. Heat some coffee, sit back and listen to what your preschooler does next.

Here’s what that looked like for us.

counting activity for kids

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