15 Number Recognition and Counting Activities for Preschoolers

15 Number Recognition Activities for Preschool Kids

As a parent or a pre-school teacher, one of the most important skills that you would want to impart to preschool kids is to make them understand numbers and how to count. Learning numbers for toddlers can be a fun activity using games rather than something that is taught by means of rote learning.

15 Number Counting Activities and Games for Kindergarten Children

Here are some fun and engaging number games for preschoolers that can be easily played and does a great work at making kids grasp numbers.

1. Connect the Dots

Connect the dots is one of the most fun and fastest ways of helping toddlers understand how numbers are sequenced. Connect the dots is an interesting puzzle where kids can connect dots which are numbered in ascending fashion (dot numbered 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and so on). Once completed, the dots create a picture which kids can colour later.

What you need:

You can get connect the dots puzzles in daily newspapers. There is also an option of downloading existing templates from the internet and getting them printed or you can make your own puzzle using some pen and paper.

How to do:

Mark the dots with the numbers marked over them sequentially, which forms an outline of a simple shape or a closed figure when completed. Ask the kid to connect the dots using a pencil starting sequentially from the dot numbered 1 and moving ahead to bigger numbers to complete the figure using lines to join the dots between two numbers.

2. Painting Using Numbers

In this fun and informative game, preschoolers are made to colour according to colour schemes that are coded with fixed numbers. Children are supposed to colour the picture according to the colouring code that they receive with the sketch. This game not only teaches the child to understand numbers but also to associate them with a specific colour.

What you need:

You can easily get online templates for colouring which can be directly printed out to use for this activity. You can also create your own sketches by creating a colour code using a sheet of paper, a black sketch pen, or a marker, and a box of colouring pens, pencils or crayons.

How to do:

Make your own sketch with colouring scheme made on top as to what number should be coloured with which colour. Add numbers accordingly to the sketch that you made. Ask the kid to paint the sketch according to the colours corresponding to the numbers in the figure. This activity not only helps the child with understanding numerals but also in relating to corresponding colours.

3. Abacus

An abacus is an educational toy that has been in use for thousands of years and was a predecessor to out modern-day calculator for counting things. It consists of movable beads on wires fixed to a stationary wooden or bamboo frame. An abacus can be used for learning higher arithmetic operations and it also strengthens the child’s counting skills.
A girl using an abacusWhat you need:

An abacus can be bought online or picked up at any educational or recreational toy store.

How to use it:

Ask the child to count the number of things in the house, like windows or chairs by recording it on the abacus. The child can do this by moving the number of beads on the abacus corresponding to the number of things being counted in the exercise. This strengthens a child’s number recognition ability and improves his counting skills.

4. Number Treasure Hunt

Children love treasure hunts! This is one of those number games for children that satiates their inquisitive and adventurous spirit and helps them learn as well. Creating a treasure hunt with numbers, where the kids have to collect numbers by exploring different places ensures that the children recognize numbers and do it in an engaging and enjoyable way.

What you need:

You will need sheets of paper that can be cut into small cards, a pair of scissors, a double-sided tape, a pen or pencil, a marker and a place to carry out the treasure hunt.

How to do:

You can cut the sheets of paper into smaller cards, on which numbers need to be written down and stuck in different places at the location where the activity is being carried out. Ask the child to explore the place and find as many numbers as possible in the time allotted.

5.Tracing Numbers Using Terracotta

This activity focuses on using the clay to trace numbers on paper. This is educational as well as recreational for the children. They learn how to write numbers, apart from reading and recognizing numbers in a fun and easy way.

What you need:

A standard packet of play dough or clay, sheets of paper, and a pencil or pen.

How to do:

Trace the outline of the numbers on the sheets of paper. Now hand out the sheets of paper to the children along with instructions to fill the outlines with clay and recite the number that was traced along with the activity.

6. Counting Cars of Different Colours

A road-trip is incomplete without car games, be it I-spy or just singing songs. Make your road-trip with children fun and informative with counting game. The objective of the game is to count the number of cars of a specific colour that you pass by.

What you need:

All you need is time and will to play the game during the journey.

How to do:

You can do this activity by choosing an uncommon colour for cars, like green or sky blue, or red. Then you can tell the child to keep his eyes out on the road for counting the number of cars of the same colour you pass by. This activity will boost colour as well as number recognition in your child and prepare him well for preschool.

7. Maze of Numbers

Create a puzzle in the form of a maze of numbers. It will help children in understanding the sequence of progression of numbers effectively. While doing this activity, children can start from the point numbered as 1 and keep following the numbers in sequence to complete the maze.

What you need:

A place to create the maze, some sheets of paper and a marker.

How to do:

Mark the different checkpoints in the maze with numbers starting from 1. Ask the kid to start at point number 1 and move ahead in sequence to reach the end of the maze by sticking to the sequence. This helps the child understand the sequence of numbers and effectively comprehend and apply it in a real-life situation.

8. Counting Using Styrofoam Cups

This activity can be carried out using multiple styrofoam cups wherein the kids can be asked to count and sort different varieties of products. This activity can improve a child’s counting as well as shape recognition and sorting skills.

What you need:

4 to 5 Styrofoam cups and different items like toffees, erasers, blocks and marbles in different quantities. You would also need a pen or a sketch pen to mark the cups as well.

How to do:

Mark the cups starting from 1 to 5. Arrange items in quantity as per to the numbers on the cups, for example, 1 toffee, 2 blocks, 3 erasers, 4 marbles and so on. Give the mixture to the child and ask them to sort the different items first. Then ask them to count the different items separately and drop them in the styrofoam cups with the numbers as per the quantity of the respective item. This is one of the most powerful counting activities for preschoolers as it teaches them to count and recognize the number corresponding to the counted quantity, apart from also teaching them effective sorting skills.

9. Counting Dice

Dice are very simple toys used in board games for children. A die has six faces, each with a different number of dots from 1 to 6. Dice can be used as powerful educational tools to teach kids how to count and recognize numbers effectively.

Kids playing with diceWhat you need:

You can carry out this activity with children using just a pair of dice.

How to do:

Roll a pair of dice on a table with kids and ask them to count the number of dots on both the dice separately and cumulatively to make the child adept at counting and adding numbers.

10. Matching Playing Cards

This is a fun exercise where you can ask kids to match the face value of one card with the face value of another card. This can help the child in relating and equating same numbers by counting as well as by understanding the way of writing the numerals.

What you need:

You can carry out this activity with a standard deck of playing cards.

How to do:

Ask the child to pick a card from the deck (make sure that it is a number card and not a face card). Next, you can ask her or him to find the cards equal in face value to the card selected by the child. You can repeat the same with other numerals.

11. Counting Flower Petals

This activity makes the kids go out into nature and enjoy its beauty in addition to teaching them how to count effectively in a fun manner.

What you need:

A flower with many petals.

How to do:

Take the children to a nice blossoming garden with multiple blooming flower beds. Ask them to collect a specific number of flowers. Once they collect the number of flowers allotted to them, ask them to count the total number of petals on the flowers they have collected.

12. Making Number Tower using Numeral Blocks

This exercise involves forming a tower of numerals using blocks with numbers on them in ascending order.

What you need:

You need a toy with blocks having numerals printed on them from 1 to 9.

How to do:

This exercise involves guiding the kids to build a tower made of blocks with numerals printed on each one of them. This helps the children to understand number sequencing and recognizing numerals through a classic method.

13. Chores List using Dominoes

This can be an interesting activity in kindergarten, wherein the children are asked to pick up a domino and asked to count the number of dots on it and list down chores equal to the number of dots selected for the day.

What you need:

A set of dominoes, a sheet of paper, and a pencil.

How to do:

Get a set of dominoes and ask the children to pick a domino. Next, ask them to count the number of dots on the selected domino. Once they successfully count the number of dots, ask them to list down the chores for the day on the sheet of paper, equal to the number of dots counted on the domino and complete them throughout the day. This activity imbibes basic planning skills in addition to counting skills in a preschooler’s mind.

14. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun game which has squares which are numbered in ascending order and the kids playing it hop one-legged to the square on which they are supposed to land. This can be a fun way to make the kids understand numbers as well as promote outdoor activity.

A girl playing hopscotch

What you need:

This exercise would require a space to make the hopscotch tiles and a chalk to mark the squares.

How to play:

Make the hopscotch tiles according to the usual standards with numbers marked in the ascending order on them. Call out a number and ask the kids to jump to reach the square with the number called out to them. In this way, the children learn to recognize numerals along with getting an enjoyable playing session.

15. Bowling with Numbered Plastic Bottles

This is an interesting and extremely fun activity with plastic bottles which are numbered from 1 to 10 arranged in the form of bowling pins. Kids can bowl the pins over with a softball and count the pins accordingly.

What you need:

10 empty plastic bottles, a softball, a permanent marker, a whiteboard marker, and a whiteboard.

How to do:

Mark the empty plastic bottles with numbers from 1 to 10 using the permanent marker. Arrange them in a formation similar to bowling pins. Ask the child to bowl with the softball on the marked plastic bottles. After bowling, ask the child to count and record the number of bottles that are up and the number of bottles that are down.

These were a few of the fun activities that can be carried out to creatively engage preschoolers and make them learn about numbers and reinforce number recognition in their impressionable minds.

Also Read: 15 Fun Learning Activities for Kids

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.