Preschool Counting Game

Preschool Dice Game

This is the first time I have played a dice game with my son. I decided to incorporate fun manipulatives to help reinforce proper one to one correspondence. He is still at the stage that most preschoolers stay at for some time where they will sometimes count and re-count objects in groups instead of counting each object only once. To help teach proper grouping, using manipulatives that they can physically move from one group to another as they count will naturally force them to stop. This gives them a chance to be successful with little parental/ teacher involvement and develops pride and confidence in their own abilities! Also frogs and snakes are fun!

  1. Gather your materials. I am using 2 over sized dice ( you can use just one die to keep it simpler), some card stock, scissors, double stick tape, markers, plastic frogs and snakes, and 3 containers.Preschool Dice Game
  2. Start by cutting the card stock into a size that will cover your die- if you are using small dice you can simply use little stickers. It’s really not a must to have a 2nd die with the animals , I decided to use both to give the activity some variety. Using just one with just one sort of manipulative to count would be perfectly fine. If you are using two make 3 pictures for each .Preschool Dice Game
  3. Tape onto your die. Preschool Dice Game
  4. Play! Roll the dice – see which animal you have to count and how many you need to count out! Preschool Dice Game
  5. Count the dots… 5!
  6. Count out the snakes! Preschool Dice Game

A variation for younger ages would be to ONLY use the dice with pictures and simply have the child sort through the two different animals, then count with you the two separate piles.

Song

Um um! Went the little green frog one day,
Um um , went the little green frog.
Um um went the little green frog one day,
and they all went um um ahhh!

But we all know frogs go ,
la di da di da,
la di da di da
la di da di da
We all know frogs go la di da di da,
They don’t go um um ah!!!

Frog Books !

Too Many Frogs

Too Many Frogs by Sandy Asher is a funny tale about a introverted Rabbit and a friendly Froggie who is a little clueless that he is imposing on Rabbit’s politeness when he invites himself over to listen to stories every night.  Rabbit eventually breaks down and has had enough when Froggie brings his whole family reunion with him one evening to hear the stories as well. You will like how this story ends , the goofy but warm characters and expressive illustrations.

Fribbity Ribbit

Fribbity Ribbit! by Suzanne C. Johnson is a simple but deceptively detailed book about a frog that just can’t be caught! The frog jumps from the backyard where a little boy is this close to grabbing him through the house and along the way runs into every family member who joins in the attempts to grab him. I love the different situations each family member is in when the frog interrupts, I particularly like that the grandfather is cooking , if you look closely you can see his cook book is titled “Frog Legs” . There are more frog details on every page, see if you can find them.

Where is my frog

Little Critter Where Is My Frog? by Mercer Mayer was a wonderful surprise sent to me by the publisher to review. I have been a fan of this series since I was a little girl and was excited to see a lift the flap book for the younger set. As any fan of the Littler Critter series knows there are hidden spiders, mice or frogs on the pages of the stories but it’s not the easiest for toddlers to find. This format is perfect, story is simple Little Critter goes fishing with his dad , takes his frog along and then the frog goes missing! While lifting the flaps, you find all sorts of animals small and large.  Even though my son is able to enjoy much more sophisticated books at three-and-a-half he still finds joy in lifting the flaps, that are so wonderful for younger toddlers to stay interested in otherwise static books.

You May Also Like :

Paper Plate Tadpole
Frog Puppet
Make and Count Ladybugs

Marshmallow Easter Egg

Going to the grocery store while pregnant can be dangerous, I left the store yesterday not with 1 but 2 bags of mini marshmallows.  Buyers regret stepped in but then I thought I could make a fun Easter craft with them too. So glad I got both bags because my son loved this and I think the Easter egg is adorable. Whenever I do crafts with tempting treats like marshmallows I give my son a number he needs to add to it before he can pop one in his mouth! So we limit gorging and practice counting.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white and colored mini marshmallows, construction paper, glue and a marker. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  2. Start by drawing an Easter egg on your paper. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  3. Add glue along the line. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  4. Add your white marshmallows along the edge. We did 15 then ate one, 21 then ate one , and 17 and ate one. Yes I did help too. My son said ” Mommy I will share my activity with you and tell daddy we shared.”  Marshmallow Easter Egg
  5. Next ask your child how many stripes they want. I caution you perhaps give them a range, my son said 8 and wouldn’t budge. I ended up doing 3 rows because 8 is a lot for a 3 year old to do. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  6. Add your colored marshmallows. We decided to add a sorting element by saying the lines can be any color, but it must be all one color. So my son was forced to sort the colors when adding them. Worked great! With younger toddlers I’d just let them go for it. Older children can add a patterning lesson in too. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  7. Keep going! Marshmallow Easter Egg
  8. Let dry.

I want to know YOUR favorite Easter books!

Leave a short review of your favorite Easter book in the comments and I will feature it ( and a link to you) in a reader’s favorites section of an upcoming  post.

Make and Count Ladybugs

This number activity combines  number recognition, counting and one to one correspondence. All preschool math skills that are the building blocks for learning addition, subtraction and more complicated operations. This activity is easy to make simpler by reducing how many bugs you use, and using smaller numbers.  If your child has mastered these skills make the bugs into equations. Write 2+4 on the bug and have them use the dots as manipulatives and solve the equation with them!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black, red and yellow construction paper, a marker, googly eyes and glue. I also used a piece of cardboard to anchor all 4 bugs. Preschool Math Activity
  2. Start by drawing the outline of a lady bug on one of the colored sheets of construction paper. Preschool Math Activity
  3. Cut out all 4 bugs and glue on the cardboard, add smiles if you want!Preschool Math Activity
  4. Cut out black dots for the bugs, after step 5 you may need to cut a few extra out but I found it easier to keep the activity flowing than make my son wait while I cut out the exact numbers he chose. We had a few left overs actually.  Preschool Math Activity
  5. Ask your child to choose a number for each bug. By letting your child choose the numbers it gives them some control which I am sure you agree is a great thing for preschoolers! Write the numbers out on each bug. If your child is able, have them write the number even if it’s huge and messy encourage them to try! Preschool Math Activity
  6. Add glue and the dots to each bug. Have your child count out the number as they add the glue. If your child needs some help with counting , do the glue yourself so your child is simply matching up the dots to the glue. Preschool Math Activity
  7. Encourage your child to count out loud as they add the dots, especially with preschoolers who have a tendency to skip numbers if they are counting out loud, you can intervene and encourage them to start again.  Use gentle corrections and lots of praise. By adding the dots one and a time this encourages one to one correspondence naturally. Preschool Math ActivityPreschool Math Activity
  8. After all the spots have been added to the bugs add glue for the googly eyes. Preschool Math Activity
  9. Add the eyes and let dry. Preschool Math Activity

Need a book about bugs to continue this lesson?

Bug Books!

Marshmallow Snowman Craft

marshmallow snowman craft for kids

This activity is in disguise, it looks like a snowman craft  but really it’s all fine motor practice and counting. My son has been skipping 5 while counting so I decided to focus on it more and this is a great activity for that. Our rule was he could eat one marshmallow after he counted out 5, 10, 15 etc… it worked wonderfully. His fine motor skills and hand eye coordination got an awesome workout too as he placed each marshmallow carefully on the glue.  Fun and learning!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some mini marshmallows, glue, some markers ( include black), some orange scrap paper and a little helper.marshmallow snowman craft
  2. Start by drawing a basic snowman on the paper with marker. Depending on the age of your child make it larger or smaller, challenge your child but have realistic expectations .marshmallow snowman
  3. Draw the face and buttons with marker.marshmallow snowman craft
  4. Cut out a carrot nose with the orange paper and glue on.marshmallow snowman
  5. Add the glue along the outline. If your child is able have them do this, it’s tricky to stay on the line but great practice in patience and hand eye coordination.  No my son did not do this step, he was busy sneaking marshmallows while I was concentrating.marshmallow snowman
  6. Start adding the “snow” . Like I said in the preamble, I had him add 10 to the bottom then eat one, then 5 to the middle, then 13 to the bottom again. It was very interactive and fantastic counting practice . He had a ball and really didn’t eat too many .marshmallow snowman
  7. Look at the fine motor skills! For children who are still at the early stages of fine motor development, you can adapt this by using large marshmallows.marshmallow snowman
  8. Let dry.

Books

The Lonesome Polar Bear by Jane Cabrera is a cute little book about a little polar who’s only friends are a snow cloud and snow animals that keep melting away. The book has a cute message about not giving up hope and to keep trying to make friends , a lesson that is worthwhile for everyone. The illustrations are very cute and my son loved it!


Birthday Snow by Kim Messinger and Michael LaLumiere is such a sweet book about believing in something even when all the facts say maybe you should give up. Daniel doesn’t give up hope waiting for the snow to come on his birthday , but who really steals the show is his mom and her continued support of her little guy and his determination. A very cute book and a new addition to my must buy list!

Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert is a magical book that celebrates the biggest holiday for snow people, the winter solstice. I wish I had had access to this book when I was teaching because it’s a perfect way to read a story about celebrations without focusing on one tradition, or leaving out another. The illustrations are beautiful and the idea of snow people eating and dancing in the middle of the night is delicious!

Even more cold weather books

More Counting Books

I have been asked by many parents of children heading to preschool for the first time about how they can help prepare and make sure their children aren’t behind the curve. One piece of advice I always give is to read some alphabet and counting books together to practice letters and numbers as well as taking turns listening ( while you read) and paying attention to a whole story, which for little book lovers is easy but full of energy movers and shakers can be a challenge. Here are a few more counting books to look for on your next library visit.
” Anno’s Counting Book” by Mitsumasa Anno almost didn’t make it into my library bag. I am so glad it did. This is a wonderful book full of possibilities. There is no text , simple aerial illustrations of a field as it evolves one number at a time. The illustrations fill up quickly and it might take a while to see that you have to classify the pictures on each page to match it with the number on the page but once you do , each page is a lesson!
“Mimi’s Book of Counting” by Emma Chichester Clark is a cute little book about a Grandma and granddaughter counting things in their every day. The counting is simple and easy to follow along with but what makes this book standout for me is how sweet the bond between the generations are. My son loves this book, one of his grandmother’s goes by Mimi and so we make the Grandma in the book Mimi and the little monkey becomes my son. I like that we are counting while also celebrating a special bond in my son’s life.


“Counting Wildflowers” by Bruce McMillan is a simple book but it stands out for me because it is interactive with 20 circles on every page that fill up as you count flowers on each page. The reader can count the blooms, and then count again with the circles , all the way up to 20. When you are trying to reinforce a skill like counting the use of repetition is really helpful. Simple but great.


“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! Count along with your child as a slew of animals try to help this duck get out of the muck! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!


“Mouse Count” by Ellen Stoll Walsh is another gem from this author illustrator. In this book the mice outsmart a hungry snake and save themselves from his belly. In the meantime the reader counts along as the mice are caught and put in a jar , then again when they escape. The simple illustrations are so effective and my son loved this book.