Number Games

One, Two Buckle My Shoe..

counting and number games for kids

Counting and number games are the first steps your child takes in really understanding what numbers mean.

When children first learn to count they do not actually comprehend what the numbers represent. One, two, three and four have the same relevance as eenie, meenie, miney, mo.

Number games help them realize that numbers are all around us and that no matter where they are they can find something to count. 

Counting games thus can be used to entertain a bored child in the car, supermarket or at home. By singing counting rhymes with your kids they are able to improve both their counting as well as their verbal skills

*TIP- For children aged three and under, work with numbers of less than five. It is best to start with one and two (two hands, eyes, feet ….etc.), then gradually including three and four (members of your family, steps to your front door…and so on). Using examples around you will further aid their comprehension. 

Counting Rhymes

When kids first start to count they are simply rhyming words without really understanding what the numbers mean. Different rhymes can help them to learn the sequence of numbers and then to learn simple addition and subtraction

These rhymes can be practiced at any time and you can encourage your kids to count their fingers as they sing the rhyme.

One Two, Buckle My Shoe    

One two, buckle my shoe     

Three four, knock at the door   

Five six, pick up sticks    

Seven eight, lay them straight   

Nine ten, a big fat hen    

Eleven twelve, dig and delve    

Thirteen fourteen, maids-a-courting   

Fifteen sixteen, maids in the kitchen   

Seventeen eighteen, maids are waiting

Nineteen twenty, my plate’s empty

Fish Alive

One, two, three, four, five

Once I caught a fish alive

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten

Then I let it go again

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on the right.

Ten Green Bottles

Ten green bottles standing on the wall,

Ten green bottles standing on the wall, 

And if one green bottle should accidently fall

There’d be nine green bottles standing on the wall

Repeat until you are at zero

Shopping Spotting

When you are in the supermarket you can play letter and number spotting games. Have your child try to find certain letters on packages and tins. Try their initials or easier letters first. S- like a snake, and L- a leg with a foot, are usually good starters. You can also play ‘I spy..’ as you go down each aisle.

Make a List

My kids love coming shopping with me so before we head out I get my four year old to write her own shopping list. By providing a lined pad and encouraging ‘letters’ and ‘numbers’ the scribblings gradually look more and more like letters.

As your child begins to recognize more letters they will try to transfer them to their own pad. Plenty of praise for any letters they make will encourage them to keep trying.

Calculator Fun

This is a simple way to help your children become familiar with numbers in a fun way.

Show them how to press numbers and use the clear button. 

Call out numbers that they can then punch into the calculator. You can also write down longer numbers with 4 or 5 digits and get your child to key in the correct sequence of numbers. Eg -5762, 4176, 8920. As well as these activities allow them to have free time to play on the calculator and explore it on their own.

When you need to use a calculator involve them in what you are doing. As they get older you can teach them how to use the + and – keys.

Nature Number Chart

You’ll need- collection of nature items, large sheet of cardboard, PVA glue, thick pens/textas

Take your child for a walk to a local park, or even just hunt around the backyard and collect sets of objects- twigs, pebbles, leaves …Sit down together and sort them into groups going from 1-10, or even up to 20. Write the numerals on the cardboard and help to glue the items next to the matching numeral. They will enjoy learning how to count using this special chart that you can hang in their bedroom.

Pulse Beat

You’ll need – Playdoh/plasticine, toothpicks

Roll small balls of playdoh and stick them on the inside of your wrist where the pulse is. Stick in the toothpick and watch it moving. Get the kids to run around and then do the experiment again. They might like to count the pulse rates of family to see who has the fastest pulse.

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