My daughter is just in the beginning stages of counting, so I’ve been trying to come up with fun ways for her to explore this skill. It’s that time of year when Easter decorations are out in all the stores (and as we all know, I spend way too much time in Target). Naturally, I grabbed some plastic eggs and an Easter basket from the $1 bins and put my thinking cap on. What I came up with was part Easter egg hunt and part counting activity.
First I prepared the materials by numbering the plastic eggs 1-12. (The permanent marker ink can be removed later with nail polish remover containing acetone.) I also used the marker and some dot stickers to label an egg carton as shown in the picture above.
Next I hid the eggs (mostly in plain sight). I demonstrated to Pooky that we were looking for eggs to put in the basket. Even though she’s only done this type of activity once before (during our St. Patrick’s Day “treasure hunt”) she caught on quickly and set about finding the rest of the eggs.
Once we had gathered all the eggs, I showed her what to do next. (Take one out of the basket, read the number on it, and place it with the matching number in the egg carton.)
She didn’t need any further instructions!
She did a great job! This activity showed me what numbers she has mastered naming, and which ones are still tricky for her. She didn’t know the numbers 11 or 12 (since we’ve only been working on 1-10), so I helped her say those.
I added an enrichment piece to this activity by drawing corresponding dots on each of the eggs 1-6 so we could work on seeing the amounts those numbers represent. (Whenever she picks up one of these eggs, I count out the dots to her.)
And that’s how we’ve been counting with plastic Easter eggs. I hope you try this activity with your toddlers and preschoolers. I know they’ll enjoy it too.
If you want MORE ideas on how to play with those plastic eggs, check out this list.