One, two, buckle my shoe! Learning numbers is an important skill for preschool children. Numbers are all around them and they love to count things. Looking for some fresh ideas for teaching numbers with your preschooler? This is a collection of rhymes, activities, and everyday opportunities. Learning numbers will never be boring for you or your child again. So, look over these fun activities to try with your children!
Rhyming is a fun way to remember numbers. Kids learn through play, so your child will repeat something enjoyable like a rhyming song or finger play over and over. This repetition reinforces their memory — and they’re just plain fun! Teach these fun rhyming songs to your kids and watch them sing along!
One, Two Three, Four, Five
One, two, three, four, five
I caught a fish alive
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
I let him go again.
Why did you let him go?
Because he bit my finger so.
Which finger did he bite?
This little finger on the right.
One Step, Two Step (from Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Zita Newcome)
One step, two step, find my teddy bear,
Three step, four step, going up the stair.
Five step, six step, now start to hop,
Seven step, eight step, come to a stop!
Nine step, ten step, going very fast,
Eleven step, twelve step, how long can it last?
Thirteen, fourteen, going very slow,
Fifteen, sixteen, not so far to go,
Seventeen, eighteen, nearly at the chair,
Nineteen, twenty, have a rest with a bear.
Number activities can be a fun way to spend time with your child and teach them at the same time. These are very simple games using household items or supplies easily purchased at a craft store. Be ready for the next rainy or snowy day.
Muffin Tin Sorting (two versions)
Take a standard muffin pan and gather several small objects from around the house. These could include paper clips, marbles, playing chips from games, buttons, nuts and washers, and coins. Make sure they are in random amounts. Have your child sort the bunch by the object, then count how many there are of each type of object (six paper clips, four buttons, etc)
Another variation is to put paper muffin liners in each spot on the pan with different numbers written on the bottom (numbers facing up). Have your child put the same amount of objects for the number in each different spot.
Make Jewelry with Numbers and Sorting
What you need:
- Beads of various colors and shapes, but some repeating
- Container with separate bins (egg carton, muffin pan)
- Yarn, string, or thick thread
- Make a large knot at the end of the yarn or string for your necklace and for your child’s. -Show your child the pattern you are using for your bead, have your child copy you. Or, let your child take the lead and you copy them.
- Either way, point out the patterns and how many of each color was chosen.
- Boys can use this as a decoration for something like a bike or as a present for mom, girls can use it as a necklace or bracelet.
***Variation: You could use different “O” shaped cereal for an edible necklace, such as Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Multi-grain Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, etc.
Learn From Numbers Around You
Learn from your environment; it takes no special trick or equipment. Just be curious and creative with what you see and hear around you. Try these ideas throughout the day or when your child needs a distraction.
- Have a number scavenger hunt. Try finding all the numbers you can in your kitchen, bathroom, out on the road, or in the grocery store.
- Pick a common object and start counting how many you see during an errand trip or a little walk around your house.
- Count out each vegetable, noodle, or piece of meat at mealtime. Count how many bites it takes to make it gone. Have your child count how many sips of milk they take.
- When folding laundry, have your child help you count socks, shirts, and decorative details on shirts and pants. Count how many of each item is in a pile.