I remember my toddler sitting at the breakfast table counting each of his blueberries before eating them. I thought it was so cool that he had the idea to count what was right in front of him before tossing each one in his mouth. Basic counting is an essential skill that helps our child’s mind learn how to sort, organize, classify, match, measure, and compartmentalize. You can help teach your child simple counting skills through easy play-based counting activities every day. (Math activities for preschoolers do not need to feel forced!)
How can I help my kids with counting at home?
Helping your kids with counting at home is easy! Daily conversations about things we do daily are a fantastic and organic way to introduce counting. From the moment we wake up (like brushing our teeth) to counting the books we read before bedtime at the end of the day are simple and essential routines that help our days function. Use these daily activities to introduce counting to your young child naturally.
But if you are looking for more, never fear – I am here! As parents, we always look for more ways to create smoother mornings through play and learning with our kids. Offering hands-on activities that help teach your kids how to count will help to build their independence and confidence and help them understand the importance of the meaning of numbers.
Learning to count is the foundation of developing many different math skills. In this post, I have gathered our top hands-on and play-based counting activities for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners that you can do right at home!
RELATED: Looking for more simple at-home learning ideas to kick off your morning? Learn all about our Breakfast Invitations!
Make counting fun! But how?
Learning how to count not only can be fun but should be fun! Forget about worksheets and flashcards. Teach your child how to count with hands-on play-based activities that are straightforward and simple to set up.
Most of the supplies you need to teach your child how to count you probably already have at home!
Here is a list of some of our favorite go-to items to help jumpstart your counting:
- Counting bears
- Dot stickers
- Magnetic tiles (your child will get a kick out of these magnetic tile ideas)
- Painters tape
- Paper towel rolls (we have 40 paper roll crafts in this post)
- Random stickers
RELATED: Check out more of our hands-on learning activities to support your child’s learning with these fun and interactive activities at home!
27 play-based counting activities
Whether you are teaching your young toddler how to count, building number recognition with your preschooler, or searching for ways to challenge your kindergartener with their ten frames, we have an activity for everyone!
This number-matching activity uses dot stickers and spooky ghosts to get into the Halloween spirit.
An easy activity to teach high-number counting with blocks as they increase exponentially.
- Cheerios Skip Counting by 10s with 1-2-3 Peas (Hands On As We Grow)
Pull out the cereal box to practice counting, strengthening fine motor skills, and snacking with this hands-on Cheerio counting activity.
- Count and Measuring with Legos (The Imagination Tree)
A creative way to turn Duplo Legos into a hands-on play-based counting, measuring, and building activity.
- Counting Bead Fun (Mess for Less)
A fun counting and fine motor skills activity for your craft-loving child as they thread pipe cleaners with colorful beads.
Practice counting and matching with this hands-on educational activity that is both easy and playful.
Use scrap cardboard and clothes pins to develop number recognition, matching, and fine motor skills.
Pull out your old set of dominos to set up a nifty addition track that focuses on counting and adding domino numbers together.
A fun and interactive counting activity that uses dot stickers to practice fine motor skills and matching.
Find beautiful leaves for your child to attach clothes 23pins to as they practice their fine motor skills and count.
Find old golf balls and an empty egg carton to get your preschooler counting and matching in this hands-on number recognition and counting activity.
Kids LOVE googly eyes! So why not use them to practice counting? Draw simple monsters for your child to match the number of eyes to the correlating numbered monster.
A fun outdoor hands-on sensory-based counting activity for your digging and scooping-loving child.
Challenge your kindergartener with this countertop (or floor) ten frame using painter’s tape to practice counting larger numbers (11-20).
Count dots on a domino and match them to the numerical shape to build a fun and colorful domino track.
Tired of magnetic tiles all over your floor? Make this simple ten-frame activity right on your refrigerator to help your child learn how to count.
Head outside and get moving and counting with this simple dice and chalk game you can play right on your patio or driveway.
Another fun way to mix up counting practice and ten-frame variations is using dot stickers.
- Numbers and Counting Activity (Learning 4 Kids)
Strengthen fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and various other math concepts as your child matches and sorts colorful popsicle sticks.
Get your toddler moving as they run around the house finding and counting items that match and correlate to the color sorting circle.
Practice counting while introducing graphing and developing sorting skills using our favorite rainbow bears.
An easy and creative way to learn simple addition with young children using dice, dried noodles (or any small items), and a toddler plate.
You can make a fun heart-themed counting and matching activity in just a couple of minutes using construction paper and markers perfect for playing around Valentine’s Day.
Save all those empty paper towel rolls to build a fun, hands-on counting activity that strengthens gross motor skills.
Teach counting, shape recognition, and matching with this simple setup, multi-math activity.
Use leftover stickers with this simple and effective counting activity that strengthens fine motor, matching, and sorting skills.
Develop counting skills using this easy-to-set-up activity using painter’s tape and any of your toddler’s favorite random little toys.
Teach counting through play!
Helping young kids learn how to count is simple to do right from your home. Whether you set up a counting game outside during the summer heat or inside on the floor near the cozy fire, learning to count can and should be fun!
Try some preschool activities that offer practice counting, sorting, and matching skills throughout the day. Incorporate daily conversation, hands-on activities, and play to encourage your child’s learning to strengthen their early math skills.
You can teach your child how to count at home through an easy and simple setup of hands-on activities, daily conversation, and play.
There are so many ways to use small toys, sensory play, and movement to encourage your child to learn how to count and develop number recognition in fun ways
The best kinds of activities to teach your child how to count are play-based activities and games that involve sorting, matching, and organizing.