Halloween is almost a made-to-order opportunity for all sorts of early learning and play, kindergarten readiness activities and fun. Besides costumes and dressing up with a great deal of imaginative and pretend play, there’s lots of excitement and stimulation for the senses. Things to see, hear, eat, smell and taste, although parents and caregivers are not so keen on all the sugar.
The spiders, bats, ghosts, skeletons and more are also fun to count. When it comes to early math, children soon learn to say the numbers. Although kids may miss a few numbers in the sequence they enjoying counting. Even more important than saying numbers correctly, kids need to learn the idea of oneness. Oneness means that one number belongs to one item. As very young kids say each number they do not always point to just one object or a single object may have a few numbers accompanying it. The concept of one number-one item is basic to understanding what counting is all about.
To help kids learn, they need lots and lots of experiences saying numbers and touching objects. Some of this they practice on their own, but parents and caregivers can drop in on their play every now and again and count with them. When you count with young children, let them see that each time you say a number you also touch or point to only one item. If they are counting and get confused, you can spread the objects out so that they can count them more easily. If counting is incorrect, the first step is to help kids say one number for each thing and then count them together. Again, much practice is needed and kids do make mistakes before they figure it out.
This bag of items from the dollar store was great fun to count, sort into groups, and to be pretend treats. What can you find at your house for some Halloween counting and early math fun?