Number Counting Cards

Number Cards with Magnetic NumbersThis is an incredibly simple activity to make and has so many options!  Every time I pull this one out, we come up with new ways to use it. 🙂

Cut ten, evenly sized rectangles out of white cardstock (or you could just use index cards if you want it really easy!).  Large cards would allow you to count bigger objects, but they take up more storage space.  I went with a fairly small size and it’s worked great for us!

Write numerals 1-10 on your cards with a marker, and laminate for long term use!  The best part is, these are easy to replace if one does get too bent up or lost.

We’ve used these cards for practice with counting, number order, number recognition, comparing, and reinforcing words like “more,” “less,” and “equal.”Number Cards 1-10

When we put the number cards in order, we add one number at a time and then count how many cards are laid down each time.

Magnetic NumbersAbby had the idea to match her magnetic numbers up with the number cards.  She would say each number out loud as she placed it on the correct card.

Lately, Abby has been infatuated with this bag of marble type things I have (they’re kind of like the pieces from the game, Mancala – they were from Dollar Tree), so of course we had to use those as our counting manipulatives.

Marble Counting

When your child is ready, add a new set of numbers 11-20!  I have a set up to 100 that I used with various children over the years.  It’s fun when they are able to set all 100 up correctly on their own!  It also is a great down time activity when you need a break. 🙂


Farm Counting Clip-it

Farm Counting Clip-it 2This is one of my favorite preschool math activities!  I loved making it too.  The original idea came from 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 where I’ve found a lot of great stuff!  I had to make my own cards, because that’s what I do…..  I wanted farm themed and something deep inside me really needed those number 8’s to have perfectly round circles too.  Regardless, this is a fun one! 🙂

Farm Counting Clip-it 1Farm Counting Clip-it

Officially, the child is supposed to use a clothespin and after counting how many objects, they clip it onto the correct number.

Farm Counting Clip-it 4

However, according to my 2 1/2 year old, “They’re kind of tricky.”  Aka, she hasn’t quite mastered the clothespin opening and clipping life skill.  Because I’d rather have her stay interested in the activity and have fun with it at the same time, we try clothespin clipping for one or two cards.  Then, we get to pull out the marble manipulatives!  Yay!Farm Counting Clip-it 3

Farm Counting Clip-it 6Farm Counting Clip-it 5

We love this activity for reinforcing number recognition and counting practice!  Abby can independently do cards 1-5, but loves working on the rest with me.  I’m looking forward to expanding this activity with cards 11-20 once we reach that level. 🙂

Farm Counting Clip-it 7

Easter Egg Counting

Easter Egg MathI had some leftover Easter eggs from this alphabet activity and figured we could use some counting practice.  This idea has been all over pinterest, but I loved that Playing House added a counting manipulative to make it more exciting!  We have a bunch of pom-poms around, so they worked excellently. Easter Pom-Pom Counting I used a variety to keep it fun – some tiny ones, a couple big ones and the favorite…. sparkly purple ones!Easter Egg Preschool

Easter Egg NumbersI had enough pom-poms available to color coordinate to each egg which helped Abby complete numbers 5-10 independently.  She loved filling her eggs up!  I love that I can easily make this an exciting, new game by simply swapping the manipulative in a couple weeks.  Easter Egg Counting

Duplo Counting Stacks!

We love anything Lego around here!  The “real” ones are the best, but Duplos have their benefits as well.  When I found this idea on All Our Days via Pinterest a while back, I knew it was going to be a winner.  Of course I needed to make my own, because I wanted to edit the idea a tad.  The main differences with the set I made was using smaller numerals and adding in the cards 7-10.  There’s just something satisfying about having a counting activity one through ten.  I designed my cards on publisher and made the Duplo pictures actual size.  This way Abby can line her stacks up to check her work while building or match them up when completed.  Duplo Counting Cards2

I laminated the cards with contact paper for long-term use.Duplo Counting Cards1

Duplo Counting CardsThese are such an excellent way for Abby to work on her counting!  This activity can also help with some basic color recognition and object order.  We were using a lot of phrases such as, “The red one goes on top of the blue one,” “The green block is at the bottom,” etc.  This is definitely something I will be reusing!

Ladybug Number Leaf Match

We are officially moved into our new place!  I can’t even begin to say how much I love having a house!!  Some people really like living in apartments, but we were feeling so crowded and this feels so glorious! 🙂  There is room for the girls to play!  (There will be even more room after I finally get everything unpacked and put away…..)  It’s beyond wonderful to be close to family.  I love that I can bring the girls to my parents’ and be back home in time for supper/bedtime stuff.Ladybug Number Match 1

That was totally unrelated to this post, but I just had to get it out there.  This is a counting/number recognition activity that I’ve been working on with Abby.  These pictures are actually from early November when I first put it together.  Hey, at least I am finally getting around to writing about it, right?  *Ahem!*  See previous paragraph… we did just move.  Ladybug Number Match 3

Ladybug Number Match 2Coffee Cups and Crayons is where I found this adorable little idea.  I had to design my ladybugs a little differently as I can never completely follow rules.  Since I lived in the middle of a giant city at the time, I bought a bag of smooth rocks from Dollar Tree (for, you guessed it… a dollar) to make the ladybugs.  It took a few coats of red acrylic paint to get them the right shade.  For the spots I started out using black permanent marker which was a bad idea because it ruined my marker and they’re expensive.  Boo.  I would recommend dropping black paint on instead.  I sprayed an acrylic sealer over them when they were done to keep the paint from chipping off.  The leaves were simple – green card stock cut in the shape of a leaf.  I wrote the bold numbers on with a big black marker and then laminated each leaf with contact paper.

When everything is ready, you have your child count the spots on a ladybug and place it on the corresponding leaf.  Abby can successfully do numbers 1-3 on her own but will get there eventually.  She easily recognizes numbers 1-10, so I usually help her count the spots on the rest of the ladybugs.  Then she will quickly put each one on the right leaf.

It’s a fun game, mostly because the ladybug rocks are cute and fun to hold.  If you’re Abby, they also make exceptional cuddle buddies.  Who knew rocks could be cuddly….Ladybug Number Match 4

Shape Sorting Sheets

Shape SortingThis shape activity focuses on sorting/matching.  It was also one of Abby’s first experiences with placing things in rows.  I created three pages with different shapes on each one.  This is the page we are currently working on.  I printed the sheet and shapes on white cardstock for durability.  Although I used contact paper to laminate the removable shapes, I simply stuck the worksheet into a page protector.  As you can see, I did my usual and used velcro for easier placement and to avoid slipping. When you’re not using this activity, the removable shapes can be slipped inside the page protector as well.  I store the page in Abby’s preschool math binder.

Our usual routine is to work on it every few days or so for a couple of weeks.  After that I print off the same worksheet and shapes on plain copy paper.  I use a glue stick to spread a thin layer of glue over each row and have her stick the shapes where they belong.  This is sort of an assessment (although, I already have a pretty good idea of how competent she is by this point since I’ve been working one on one with her haha) as well as a way to more permanently document how she’s doing.  Not to mention, Abby absolutely loves looking through her school books at things she has completed.  Shape Sorting 2

Shape Match-up

Shape Match-up 3A great deal of my creative inspiration develops via pinterest.  Even though there are a lot of ideas that aren’t exactly what I want, they are close enough that I can use them to get started.  I had seen a few people pinning shape match-up quiet books a while ago.  They looked super adorable and everything, but I can’t sew whatsoever.  I’m not even kidding you.  I can thread a needle and then I don’t know what to do.  If a button falls off a shirt, I have to turn elsewhere for help.  Just thinking about sewing makes me feel stressed.  I wish I was talented in this area but, needless to say, I had to edit this craft a tad.

Shape Match-up 4I thought this activity would work really well as a file folder game, so that’s the direction I went with it.  I printed off a couple sheets of paper with shapes arranged on them, glued them in the folder and laminated each page.  I also printed the shapes’ names on them since it’s never too early for little ones to start recognizing words. 🙂  For the matching shapes, I got rid of the names, then printed off the same pages (this time on white cardstock for sturdiness).  I colored & cut them out, laminated them and stuck some velcro on the back.  I am a huge fan of using velcro for matching activities as it eliminates frustration with sliding!

Shape Match-up 1One of my favorite parts of this activity is that I used a variety of “harder” shapes.  I think it’s silly to have low expectations for kids!  There is no reason I need to limit Abby to circles, rectangles, squares and triangles.  She already knows and recognizes the names of almost every shape in this game.  The only two she has trouble with are the hexagon and octagon which is pretty understandable.  She can’t count to 6 or 8 yet which makes it a little tricky to see the difference.  I would like to eventually add a third page to the back of the folder (same technique) with a few of the shapes I had to leave out.  I made sure to use plain, white shapes in the folder as I didn’t want Abby matching them based on their color.  Similarly, I left the shape names off the colored ones so she had to match based on shape only.Shape Match-up 2