There are opportunities everywhere to make counting a game and begin teaching important basic math skills. Counting activities lead to modeling on number lines which is a large part of Common Core Math taught in school. The main purpose of a number line is to model counting whether it’s by 5’s or by fractions. Therefore, it’s essential for kids start at an early age.
- Shapes– Shapes are everywhere! It’s easy to count specific shapes with your child when traveling or in a restaurant.
- Candy– For obvious reasons, kids love to count candy. Candy can be used as an incentive to get young kids to start counting. Challenge them not to eat until they have finished a task. This leads to the idea of subtraction! Literally! Eating and taking away candy is the basic idea for subtraction. It’s gone; we no longer count it.
- Balls– Make it a physical game! Challenge your child to throw 5 balls as fast as they can. Count with them as they throw.
- Cups– My son loves stacking cups. Build a pyramid and count as you go. Talk about the pattern made with each level.
- Crayons– Crayons can again be used to count by color. Also, Crayons usually come in large packs and are great to start to count to 20. Try introducing them to counting by 2 or 5 crayons at a time.
- Non-Toys– My son and I spend time all around the house like in the bathroom. I let him play with items like Q-tips and cotton balls. I’ll ask him to count 3 items and put them in a basket.
- Books– Before bed we always read. I’ll choose a number for the night and that’s how many books he gets to pick to read.
- Picking up toys– My son loves to help me clean. I will challenge him to pick up a certain number of toys. Then, I will have him choose a number of toys I should clean up as well. We’ll take turns counting and cleaning!
Make all opportunities COUNT!