Count with Kids!

Counting and other early learning math skills need to be fun and playful for kids to benefit from them.  No quizzing, no stress.  As I always say, just let them play!  So let’s look at two simple ways you can play with your kids and encourage their early math skills at the same time.

Counting Songs

There are an almost endless number of preschool songs and rhymes that include counting.  I like to call them Five Little Whatzits!  There’s Five Little Ducks; Three Green and Speckled Frogs; Five in the Bed…  The list goes on and on.  There are so many benefits to singing with children, and when you add counting into the lyrics of the song, you’ve got a double whammy of early-learning-through-play goodness!  Not sure of the tune and need more counting song ideas?  I’ve got a whole YouTube playlist for you!

Move and Count!

Those five little whatzit songs are perfect to use at home or during a story time.  And maybe you’ve read this post about teaching other math skills as you play. So now let’s talk gross motor!  Here are some quick and simple ways to count as you get the kids up and moving.  As usual, these work just as well in a classroom as they do at home, outside, and everywhere in between. 

Jumping, clapping and twirling! 

Challenge the kids to count each other’s jumps as you’re playing outside.  Or count your jumps as you jump from the living room into the kitchen!  Put on some music and invitethe kids to clap along–and then see how many claps are in the song!  Clap slowly, clap quickly–and count slowly and quickly.  Do the same with twirling or spinning–or any other large muscle movement you can think of.  The kids might just listen and observe, or they might join in.  Sometimes they’ll count correctly, and sometimes they won’t.  The most important thing is that you’re all having fun!  By incorporating counting into your play, the kids will associate fun times with numbers–a win-win for everyone!

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