Are you looking for engaging ways to teach your preschooler, how to count? My 3-year-old is a visual and kinesthetic learner. He’s super excited and engaged when we do math that’s hands on. So here are 3 easy hands on methods to teach preschoolers how to count using commonly found manipulatives. These are great for number recognition, counting practice and recognizing quantity.
1) Hands on Number Practice Using Number Cards
- card stock
- adhesive number labels
- round color coding labels
- gems or counters
I had some labels in my teaching stock that I used to create these quick number cards. Cardstock was cut into half, and then I stuck a number and the corresponding black labels. You can laminate these for prolonged use. I place the gems in a small basket and then place the cards along with the basket in a tray. Sit with the child and depending on their number awareness, either you read the numbers or have the child read the number to you. Take one card at a time, and count along as you place the gems. My son loves this activity.
2) Hands on Number Practice Using Number Trays
- A small tray divided into compartments
- Mini number tiles or write numbers on mini post its or cut out index cards
- Counting manipulatives (bears, bells, counters, gems)
Place numbers in each compartment and have the child place the number of manipulatives in each section. I don’t remember exactly where I found mine but you can make one out of a small baking pan and just divide it into sections using colored paper.
3) Hands on Number Practices Using Popsicle Sticks and Stickers
- Jumbo Craft sticks
This is just simple as it sounds. Write a number on the craft stick and the child sticks the right amount of stickers. This activity is also good for sharpening motor skills. Hope you give these math activities a try with your preschooler. Share some of your favorite hands on math activity below in the comments.