How can I teach numbers and counting to my child?
Recently, I’ve been asked a lot how I teach numbers and counting. I do have a few activities that are specifically for numbers and counting, but I realized that most of the number stuff I do is in tot school. So, I decided to make a roundup post of all the tot trays where I teach numbers and counting.
- Number Cards
- Numbered Cups and Objects
- Dice Activities
Number cards are great for teaching numbers. You can put the correct number of objects on each card, put one object on each card as you count, or have a spot for each object. Read on for 6 great ways to use number cards.
1. Math Links on Number Cards
Hole punch a hole in the corner of the number card (or clip card). Attach the correct number of math links on each card. Original Post: A is for Apples Toddler School Unit
2. Number Cards with Circles
Use number cards with the number and the correct number of circles on each card. Put a pompom or other object on each circle. Original Post: Yellow Tot Trays
3. Paper Clips on Number Cards
Put the correct number of paper clips on each number card. If your child is young, he can just place the paper clips on top of the card. For older children, have him/her clip the paper clips onto the cards. Original Post: Bug Themed Tot School Trays
4. Objects on Number Cards
Put the correct number of pompoms on the number cards. These are apple themed, but you can use any kind of picture and object depending on your theme. Original Post: Red Tot School Trays
5. One Object on Each Number Card
Put one object on a number card as you say the number. For example: When your child puts a triangle on the 1 card, say “1.” When he puts a triangle on the 2 card, say “2.” When he puts a triangle on the 3 card, say “3.” Original Post: Triangle Tot School Trays
6. Clip Cards
I wrote a post a few weeks ago that gives a lot more information about number cards (or clip cards). Read here for more ideas.
Numbered Cups and Objects
This section shows how you can cover cups or other objects with numbers. You can then put the correct number of objects in the cups and even count them again when you’re done! There are 5 ideas for using numbered cups and objects.
1. Number Cups and Spike Balls
Put numbers on cups. Put the correct number of spike balls into each cup. Original Post: Ball Themed Tot Trays
2. Color Sorting and Counting
Have a bunch of small, random items in different colors. Count a color. Write the number of objects that are that color on a piece of paper of the same color. Tape the number to a cup. Continue until you have a cup for each color and the correct number of objects for each color. Dump out all of the object. Have your child sort the objects by color. When all objects are sorted, count the objects in each cup and make sure the number of objects matches the number on the cup. Original Post: Purple Tot Trays
3. Hats on Dot Markers
Tape numbers on dot markers. Make tiny party hats from construction paper and make sure they fit on the dot markers. Can also color coordinate numbers and hats. Put correct number of “hats” on each dot marker. Original Post: H is for Hat Toddler School
4. Numbered Cups and Heart Picks
Tape numbers on cups. Put the correct number of heart picks in each cup. Original Post: Valentine’s Day Tot Trays
5. Dancers on Button Snake
Make 3-5 small button snakes and write a number 1-5 on each button. Cut dancers from felt to go on button snakes. Don’t forget to cut a button hole in the middle of the dancer. Put the correct number of dancers on each snake. Original Post: D is for Dance Toddler School
There are lots of printables for teaching numbers. The links to these printables are in the original posts. Enjoy these 3 ideas.
1. Counting Sheet
Put erasers (or stickers) in each square of the counting sheet. Original Post: Easter Tot Trays
2. Counting Playdough Mats
Put the correct number of playdough carrots onto each numbered playdough mat. Original Post: Gardening Tot Trays
3. Counting Fun
Glue the correct number of pictures next to each number. Use a different picture for each number. Original Post: Fall Tot Trays
Only one of these ideas actually comes from a tot tray, but the other ideas were too good not to share. Dice is a great tool for teaching numbers mostly because kids LOVE dice. Check out these 4 ways to use dice to teach numbers and counting.
1. Count Pompoms
Tape animal pictures to cups. Have pompoms in a bowl. Roll a die and count the dots. Use a melon baller and give the same number of pompoms (“food”) to the animal. Roll again for the next animal. Original post: F is for Farm Tot School Unit
2. Candy Cane Math
Roll dice, then use a do-a-dot marker to make that many dots on the candy cane. Choose another color dot marker and roll again. Original Post: Candy Cane Math
3. Dot Marker and Dice Graphing
Cover each square at the bottom of the graph with a different color of dot marker. Roll the dice. Make that number of dots with a matching color of dot marker. Continue with the other colors. Original Post: Dot Marker and Dice Graphing.
4. Sticker and Dice Game
Roll the dice, then cover that number on the heart printable with a sticker. Original Post: Valentine’s Day Sticker and Dice Game
Hope you got some good ideas for teaching numbers. Subscribe now on the sidebar for more great teaching ideas!