A few weeks ago my tot surprised me by pointing to and naming the numbers on her growth chart in her room. I had no idea she was already starting to soak up knowledge about numbers! I had assumed that this concept would be a long way off yet for us to work on, but since she showed an interest, I decided to start exploring it with her. My educational background reminds me there is so much more involved with counting than just the rote naming of numerals (one-to-one correspondence, sequencing, cardinality, etc…). Pook is already off to a great start with identifying and naming the numerals, so I decided to start the task of helping her realize what each number actually represents. There’s no formal instruction going on in these activities. I simply set up opportunities for us to count objects using items I found around the house.
I’m always looking for a way to re-use egg cartons, and this was the perfect opportunity. I just cut them into 4 configurations so Pook could see a representation for each number. Then she put a plastic lid (another item I always save) into each carton “cup.”
I’ve seen this idea of making magnetic pompoms in several places around the internet. This looked like an easy project, so I made some with hot glue, and then I used them to help illustrate how much each numeral represents.
I was inspired to use our magnetic numbers in another way. I put them in a muffin tin with some pompoms and helped my tot count the correct number into each muffin “cup.”
In this activity, I put our foam numbers to use again with some Mega Blocks flipped upside down. We counted out cotton balls into each slot of the blocks.
Here are a couple other counting activities from my St. Patrick’s Day post.
Because my daughter is still just a toddler, these activities are never forced on her. They’re only done as an invitation to play and explore numbers together. They are usually very short sessions with me following her lead, and when her interest is waning, the “lesson” ends.
I’m always looking for new ways to explore numbers with my toddler. If you have an idea you’d like to share, I’d be happy to hear it.
Now come check out all these great blogs I’ll be linking to this week.