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Counting Activities for Preschoolers

2016-05-19 by Angela Thayer

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These colorful counting activities for preschoolers are shared with us by guest blogger Angela of TeachingMama.org.

Teaching children to count is foundational for learning math. The best way to teach little ones is through play and hands-on counting activities. When I saw this counting caterpillar toy, I knew it was a perfect tool for teaching my children how to count and practice one-to-one correspondence!

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

One-to-one correspondence is a foundational math skill for preschoolers to learn. It can take months or even an entire year for preschoolers to master this skill, which is why it’s important to keep practicing it! One-to-one correspondence means counting objects with meaning, or the ability to match one object to one other object.

I used the Counting Caterpillar to play a game to practice counting with meaning. Here’s what I used for the activity:

We first played with the caterpillar and practiced counting from 1-10. It’s so great to have objects to count because it helps the child not count too fast. My son thought it was pretty neat that they were the colors of the rainbow!

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

We played a game where I hid groups of creatures around our house in groups from 1-10. I had my preschooler bring the Counting Caterpillar with him as he searched for the creatures. When he found a group of creatures, he practiced counting them.

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

If he wasn’t able to count them correctly, I asked him to double-check and on the second try, he would get it. Usually it was because he was counting too fast! Once he figured out the number, he found the matching number on the caterpillar and placed it with the group of creatures.

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

He did this activity until all the groups of creatures had their matching numbers. He kept telling me how much fun he was having and he thoroughly enjoyed this activity!

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

In fact, after we were done, he hid creatures for me to find and had me match the number to the groups!

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

We also used the Counting Caterpillar for identifying numbers and ordering numbers. I mixed up the numbers on the caterpillar and took one number away. My preschooler then put the numbers in order and found out which number was missing. He thought it was a fun game!

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

The white dots on the caterpillar pieces make it easy for children to count and work on one-to-one correspondence. They also can understand the value of numbers better and see that 8 is a higher number than 2 because it has more dots.

The Counting Caterpillar is also great for…

  • practicing fine motor skills
  • identifying colors
  • hand-eye coordination

The best part about these counting activities is that children don’t realize they are learning because they are having so much fun! This Counting Caterpillar is a fabulous learning toy and would be great for any playroom or classroom!

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Counting Activities for Preschoolers


Angela Thayer

Angela is a mom to 3 boys, wife to an amazing man, lover of the Midwest, and former teacher. She is the writer and creator at TeachingMama.org, where she shares learning activities for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Angela is also the author of The Preschool Journey, a 26-week hands-on preschool curriculum. Angela has a passion for educating children, as well as helping parents of little ones thrive during the early childhood years. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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