Including lots of counting activities for kids helps them feel comfortable with math. We all want kids to have math confidence instead of math anxiety. (We also want that for grownups.)
What can parents and caregivers do? We can be like Count von Count and have fun with counting. Here are 10 ordinary, everyday counting activities for kids.
1. When getting up in the morning, count to make sure there are two feet and one didn’t get left in the bed. You can cover up one foot with the sheet and keep looking for it. Kids soon figure out the joke. For older kids, count toes to make sure there are still ten. You can make a few ‘mistakes’ and let kids correct you.
2. Count buttons on shirts, polka dots on socks, or whatever you can when kids are dressing. The buttons can be on either your shirt or your child’s. Encourage your child to say the numbers with you.
3. At the table, there will be something to count: bowls, cups, spoons, or some other objects.
4. As kids are playing, you can count a few toys. These could be cars, blocks, dolls, balls or other toys.
6. If you go out today, choose a fairly short distance and count the number of steps from the door to the sidewalk or to the car.
7. Laundry can be almost a daily activity. Pick out something to count, like socks.
8. For a snack, you may be able to ask a child how many pieces of some fruit or veggie /he can eat. You can put some out and together count to check.
9. Kids can count and choose 3 books for you to read to them. This doesn’t have to wait for bedtime.
10. Counting is a good strategy to put things away. Have your child pick out 5 things to put on a shelf or in a toy box. Of course, more than 5 things may be on the floor so count in a different voice. How many different voices can you use?
Learning to count is similar to learning to walk. Just like first steps are wobbly, so are first attempts at counting. Children need to repeat counting many, many times. These ordinary, everyday ways to count help kids develop a basic math skill, their number sense, and, even more importantly, a positive attitude. Right, Count?