Here Are Our 5 Favorite Number Games Your Preschooler Will Love
As adults, it is easy to forget about the important role of play in developing preschoolers. It is through play that young learners begin to make sense of the world around them. As they play, children learn the basics of scientific inquiry (predicting what might happen and comparing the prediction to results), language development, and mathematical principles.
Today, we’re going to focus on incorporating numeracy play in a way that encourages children to enjoy math with hands-on fun!
To that end, we’ve gathered a list of our 5 favorite number games and activities you can play with your child. And trust us when we say, they’ll have so much fun they won’t even realise how much they are learning!
This is a fun, interactive activity that helps children improve basic number recognition, and the only equipment you need is a box of sidewalk chalk and a concrete driveway or sidewalk.
Draw several large circles on the sidewalk and write a number inside each bubble. If you are playing with multiple children, you’ll want to be sure you have enough number sets for each child. So, for example, if you have three children playing, you’ll want to have three sets of bubbles numbered 1 – 10. Be sure to mix the numbers up and spread the bubbles out as much as possible.
Once all the bubbles and numbers have been drawn, gather the children and call out a random number. The children must find the circle containing that number and stand in it. You’ll get extra “fun” points if you have liquid bubbles on hand to blow over the children as they search for their numbers.
Connect the Dot Sheets
Connect the dots pages are a classic activity that children absolutely love! If you aren’t familiar, each sheet has a partially finished drawing. Your child will draw a line using a pencil or crayon from number 1 to number 2 and so on until they have completed the drawing.
While you can buy connect-the-dot booklets at your local education supply store or online (we love this book for preschoolers!), there are plenty of free, downloadable worksheets to be found online. The crafty geniuses over at the Spruce Crafts have a variety of worksheets you can print for free at varying skill levels.
Number Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are a great way to strengthen number identification skills while getting the wiggles out. And the best part about scavenger hunts is they can be coordinated at a local park, in your neighborhood, or indoors in the event of inclement weather.
For this activity, simply write down a set of numbers and ask your child to find that number somewhere out in the world. It could be on a street sign, an address marker, in a book, or on a clock.
To increase the difficulty, you could create a picture list and ask children to bring you a certain number of items (1 teddy bear, 2 spoons, 3 blocks, etc.).
Counting Bears Set
If you’re looking for an activity offering the most bang for your buck, consider investing in a counting bears set. Children find them wildly entertaining, and you’ll enjoy the fact that this is one of those rare toys that grow with your child.
Begin by using the quantity cards to help your child practice basic counting. As your child grows, he or she can use the set for sorting and learning basic addition and subtraction skills.
But, once again, there’s no reason to buy an official set. You can create the same experience at home by writing numbers on note cards and asking your child to collect that number of any item they choose. They can then sort the items according to size, texture, color, or any other category you can come up with.
Cookie Jar Matchup Game
Here’s another fun game that helps hone number identification and matching skills. You can download the templates for this game here. We love this set because children can play using the numbers or the spelled-out numbers for a bit more of a challenge.
Give your child one of the cookie jars and a set of cookies (also included in the download). Your child will then count the chips on each cookie and place the cookie on the corresponding number. You can even write the number and the spelled-out name on the back of the cookies so children can flip them over and see if they matched the cookies up correctly.
Number play should be every bit as fun as any other type of play for your preschooler, and we think these games will provide the perfect way to get your child to associate numbers and counting with playtime and fun!
Thanks for reading,
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