My almost three year old is at the fun point where she’s interested in numbers. She’ll count to herself “1, 2, 8, 10.” She’ll identify when there are two of something. She’ll put on a watch and wear it around all day announcing regularily that it is 9:00, and suddenly suprise herself by recognizing the number 1 written on the watch. She’ll roll dice and announce numbers (occasionally correct but more often wrong). She knows numbers are out there she just doesn’t understand exactly what they are.
There are (free, no-equipment needed) games I played with my older children that I want to play again with my youngest child.
1) There Were Five on the Bed and the Little One Said….
This is a song her older brothers are delighted to help act out. Together with some stuffed animals we lay on the bed ready to all roll over and take turns rolling off the bed. The lyrics go:
There were five in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over”
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
Here’s another song that can be counted and acted out. The words go:
Five little speckled frogs,
Sat on a speckled log
Eating a most delicious lunch. Yum Yum.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs.
The verse is repeated, with lower numbers, until there are no more speckled fogs. This one is easy to act out with dolls or paper frogs or really anything you want.
3) Polka-dot war
War is an easy card game for children to learn but it gets even easier if you make your own cards out of cardpaper. Suits are an unnecessary distraction. Just make 6 cards for each number 0 – 6, and draw big polka-dots on each card to show the number.
4) The Run Around and Count Game
When my oldest was three he used to love running around in circles and then jumping on me. I would reduce the numbers of times I’d get jumped on by saying “let’s count to 25 before you jump.” Then together we would count up to 25 and he would jump on me. Then we’d do it again. And again. And again.
What are some preschool math activities you and your children have enjoyed?