Inside: These counting activities will make learning counting enjoyable while building a strong numeracy foundation in your preschoolers. Let the counting adventures begin with these fun-filled counting activities!
Learning to count is an exciting adventure for preschoolers! As they embark on this mathematical journey, they discover a whole new world of numbers. Using objects as their guides, children begin to grasp the concept of counting. They eagerly point their fingers, one by one, saying the numbers aloud with delight. Their eyes light up with joy as they reach higher numbers, mastering the art of enumeration.
Through playful games, songs, and interactive counting activities, preschoolers develop a foundation for numerical understanding. Learning to count becomes a joyful experience, igniting their curiosity and setting the stage for future mathematical exploration.
Scroll down for 10 Low Prep Preschool Counting Activities
Counting Activity 1: Number towers
- Choose a playing card and count what number it is (e.g count the number of hearts)
- Let’s make a tower with the same number. Count along as you add a block.
TIP: Remind your child to add and count one block at a time. This is important for children to learn 1 to 1 correspondence counting.
Related: Use these counting cubes for another easy math activity for your preschooler - Measuring Worms!
Counting Activity 2: Beads onto a pipe cleaner
- Pipe cleaners
- Number cards (1 to 10)
- Pick a number card
- Thread matching number of beads to the pipe cleaners. Count the beads as you add them.
Counting Activity 3: Counting in nature
- Stones, sticks or leaves
- Go for a local walk in a park and see what you can find!
- Count the different nature finds (e.g. flowers, sticks, stones etc)
- Which item has the most number and which item has the least number?
Counting Activity 4: Dot painting and counting 1 to 10
- Place a number card on the left side of the paper.
- Using the dot paint markers or dot stickers, make the same number of dots on the right side of the paper.
Counting Activity 5: Bottle Caps Ice Cream Counting Board
Try this cute and hands-on ice cream Counting Activity made with bottle caps and a piece of cardboard!
Counting Activity 6: Beads in the Pots
- Glass beads
- Metal pot
- Listen carefully as the adult drops some glass beads, one by one into the metal post.
- Count the number of beads as you hear them drop into the pot.
Counting Activity 7: Monster Eyes Counting Activity
Children will love counting and adding the eyes for their monster in this cute Monster theme counting activity.
TIP: Using materials that are exciting or unusual like jewels or googly eyes can get children more interested in trying the activity!
Counting Activity 8: Bean bag toss on stairs - how many?
- Bean bag
Or make your own bean bag:
- Zip lock bag
Fill the zip lock bag with rice. Put it into a sock and wrap another sock around it to make a ball shape
- Throw the bean bag on to the stairs
- Count out loud how many steps you need to take to get it
- For older preschoolers, they can also record the number of steps they climb for each turn and add up the total number of steps after 5 rounds.
Counting Activity 9: Number songs
Singing number songs is a great way for not only building counting but also for simple subtraction too.
Here are some of our favourite songs for children to learn counting:
- 5 currant buns
- 5 speckled frogs
- 3 little men in a flying saucer
- 5 little monkeys swinging in the trees
- 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed
- Hickory dickory dock
Counting Activity 10: Numbered Cups and Pompoms
- Paper cups
- Pom poms
- A marker
- Tweezers (optional)
- Using the marker, label the paper cups from numbers 1 to 5, one number on each cup.
- Pace the matching number of pom poms into the cups. Remember to count the pompoms as you add them
Common Questions about Teaching Preschoolers to Count
One of the best and easiest ways to introduce numbers to preschoolers is through everyday activities, such as counting toys or snacks during playtime. Count along with them as they pick up the toys or count the number of cookies in their bowls.
Young children learn best through hands-on experiences so use concrete manipulatives, such as counting blocks or beads, in counting activities to engage their senses and encourage hands-on learning.
Incorporate songs, rhymes, and games that involve counting to make the learning process fun and engaging. Try some of our low prep counting activities with your preschoolers and provide them with ample opportunities to practise counting daily!
Incorporate games, songs, and hands-on counting activities to make the learning experience enjoyable and engaging for your preschoolers. For example, use colourful and concrete materials like counting blocks, threading beads, to make the counting process visually engaging and hands-on. Sing counting songs or create catchy rhymes that help children remember numbers and their order. Incorporate movement into counting activities, such as having children jump, clap, or climb the steps while counting. Try our fun counting activities that keep your preschoolers motivated to learn counting and develop a positive attitude towards numbers.
Children typically begin to develop an understanding of numbers and counting between the ages of two and four years old. During this period, they start to take interest in numbers and understand the stable order of counting and count in sequence.
At first, you may notice your toddlers doing rote counting where they recite numbers from memory without a good understanding of what the numbers represent.
As they develop their number sense, they start to associate numbers with quantities of objects. For example, they realise that 3 equals 3 items. Remember, it is not important for young children to learn to count to a large number like 50 or 100 yet. Instead focus on building their basic counting skills from 1 to 10 and reinforcing their number sense with plenty of counting activities.
More Counting Activities and Resources For You!
- 5 Hands-on Ways to Learn to Count 1 to 5 with our Counting Hearts Printables
- Understand the first counting principle, Stable Order
- How to help your child develop a strong number sense in Math
- Try some activities to teach your preschooler about cardinality
- Have fun with your child using these 10 Low Prep Number Activities for Preschoolers
- Practice one-to-one correspondence counting with this Bottle Caps Counting Board
- Use UNO cards to set up fun math activities for your children
- Download this Counting Flowers Printable Activity for preschoolers for fun, hands-on math fun!