In this post we collected 9 fun counting games, which you can use in a home school setting to improve your child's numeracy skills.
How Children Learn To Count?
When you start teaching your children to count, it means a lot more than just teaching the numbers from one to ten. It means helping kids understand the meaning of numbers and quantities.
Counting is very important because it’s the very foundation of more complex mathematical tasks that they will master in the coming school years.
Teaching children to count should be fun, playful and enjoyable by using simple ways, for example, by using fun stories or chants for each number or by making numbers in craft activities.
You can also bring numbers in your daily chores and everyday life. You can count socks as you sort them, count as you go upstairs, count the cars going by, count the clouds in the sky, count the milk bottles in your fridge.
You can also point to objects in your house and count them for your children. Or when you spoon out food on their plate, count aloud the spoonfuls as you put them on the plate.
Make counting and easy counting games a natural part of your interactions, and your kids will not even realise they are learning. The more they see and hear numbers, the more they will learn the meaning of numbers.
Seeing numbers throughout their play is crucial. But keep these counting activities and counting games short, because preschoolers have short attention spans. Also make sure to be creative in finding opportunities without overdo it.
Bear in mind that every child is different and they are only ready when they are developmentally ready.
When To Teach Numbers To Children?
It is great to start introducing numbers to your children after they turn one. You can start with number rhymes; you can also point out objects in their daily lives, such as one pear, two apples, three dogs and so on.
When children are about a year old, you can start teaching them about numbers and counting by modelling techniques.
Ask your children how old they are while holding up the correct number of fingers, and then ask them to do the same. The concept here is to model you until they internalise the numbers. Eventually, they will also hold up the correct number of fingers.
When they are correct, just say, "That's right!" It’s important to keep these games fun and carefree. Pushing or scolding is not right, as they will cause anxiety in your child, therefore they need to be avoided.
As we discussed earlier, children develop at their own rates. They will learn and respond when they are ready.
We have collected 9 counting games for you from 18 months old to 3+ years, so you can find whatever best suit your child's development.
- 1-10 Natural Number Stacker - Counting Games
This inviting number stacker counting game will be a valuable resource to teach early number concepts by helping children to make connections within and between numbers to ten.
The bases measure 50mm and show four different representations for each number: numeral, standard 1-5 dice array, random dot array and 10-frame pattern.
Great to support early number sense and counting, children will be able to see clearly the quantity or ‘howmanyness’ of each number, subsidise through different patterns, 1:1 counting, 1 more/1 less and difference.
Made from responsibly-sourced FSC approved beech wood, each set includes ten number posts (60-170mm) and 55 rings.
- Natural Counting Log - Counting Games
This simple wooden log has equal-sized holes into which children can count out the appropriate number of sticks from a pile. When placed correctly in the sections, children can easily see the difference between the numbers (cardinality).
Each side of the log shows a slightly different range of numerals (1–10 on one side and 0–9 on the other), making it helpful to teach number order and the value of zero. It's a great counting game.
- Number Pebbles - Number Bonds 1 to 10 - Counting Games
Encourage a fascination for numbers with our fabulous number pebbles counting games. These popular tactile objects appeal to children’s instinct to explore, investigate, sort and collect. Contains 22 pebbles (two of each of the numbers 0–10).
Each pebble is cast from a special stone and resin mix and engraved with a number (30–45mm). These durable, weatherproof pebbles are ideal for use in sand, water and outdoors, and will not fade over time.
Safe for age 2+.
- Jumbo Number Pebbles - Counting Games
Children will love this hands-on approach to early numeracy using this supersized version of our best-selling Number Pebbles counting game.
Perfectly sized for little hands to explore and play with, our Jumbo Number Pebbles are ideal for introducing numbers to young children. Each one is engraved and painted with a number making them highly appealing and tactile. Children will enjoy collecting, sorting and ordering these giant pebbles, leading to rich opportunities for discussion.
Cast from a unique stone mix they are tough enough to use throughout an early years setting. They can be used in sand, water and soil, and will not fade over time. These large stones measure between 60–73mm. The set includes 22 pebbles – two each of numbers 0–10.
- Number Pebbles - Sum Building Set Counting Games
Encourage a fascination for numbers with our fabulous number pebbles counting games. These popular tactile objects appeal to children’s instinct to explore, investigate, sort and collect.
Contains: two of each of the numbers 0–20, two of operations +, – and =, one of operations x and ÷. Each pebble is cast from a special stone and resin mix and engraved with a number (30–45mm). These durable, weatherproof pebbles are ideal for use in sand, water and outdoors, and will not fade over time.
Safe for age 2+.
- Feels-Write Number Stones - Counting Games
Children can struggle just as much with forming numerals as they do with letters. They need to develop fine-motor control, the language to talk about shape and patterns, and the basic movements needed for number shapes before they can acquire a fluent handwriting style.
Take a hands-on approach using this set of ten number stones (0–9). The attractive stones offer a tactile and visual way for children to practise number formation and build confidence. It's a great counting game.
Starting at the green dot and guided by the subtle formation arrows, children will enjoy tracing the number shape with their finger, building important motor-memory skills. The set is made from a durable stone and resin mix and are suitable for use indoors and outside. The stones measure between 120–135mm.
You may also be interested in our Feels-Write Pre-Writing Stones and Feels-Write Letter Stones for lowercase and uppercase letter formation.
- Two Tone Counting Stones (Set of 20) Counting Games
This invitingly smooth set of 20 double-sided stones is ideal for counting, pattern making, number bonds, and sorting, among other maths concepts. It's a great counting game. These durable counters are made from a stone and resin mix and can be used outside, in water, and in sand. Their tactile nature encourages exploration, interaction and open-ended play.
They are ideal for use with our 10-Frame Tray, which supports sequencing activities and an understanding of number arrays.
Set contains 20 two-tone stones measuring 45mm in diameter and 10mm at the thickest point.
- Honey Bee Counting Kit Counting Games
Create a buzz both inside and outdoors with these adorable honey bee stones counting games! This set of busy bees will help children to develop an understanding of numbers and apply this knowledge in different contexts. They can be used for a range of learning opportunities, including recognising the numerals shown on the bees’ backs and relating these to groups of objects, reinforcing the idea of numbers. Explore number sequences and odd and even numbers, along with addition, subtraction and number bonds to 10. Children can also have fun using these bees alongside our Ladybug Counting Stones. Set includes two each of 1-10 honey bee stones that will not fade over time. Size 50mm. Age 2+.
Designed to be used with our Honey Bee Number Stones, our engaging activity cards provide an exciting way to help children develop early number skills. The vibrant photographic backgrounds invite children’s involvement, with the discussion generated covering numerals from 1–10, the concept of numbers and how numbers can be represented. The cards can also be used to explore number sequences, odd and even numbers, addition, subtraction and number bonds to 10. Made from durable plastic, suitable for use outside, each set includes 16 colourful cards measuring 275 x 210mm. Age 3+.
- Ladybird Counting Kit - Counting Games
Ladybird Counting Stones can be used throughout a setting to explore counting to 20, subsidising, odd and even numbers, and addition. Bury the bugs in a tray filled with leaves and twigs or scatter them around the edge of an outdoor nature area for the children to discover. Each set of spotty ladybirds includes two each of 0–10 (22 Ladybirds) and will not fade over time. Bugs measure 50mm. Age 2+.
Ladybird Counting Cards - Counting Games Designed for use alongside our Ladybird Counting Stones, the Ladybird Counting Cards are an ideal way to explore early maths skills. The detailed, photographic images featured on the cards will aid the development of key mathematical language. Activities include counting forwards and backwards on leaf number lines and finding suitable ladybird homes in the forest and log pile. Made from durable plastic, the cards are tough enough for use in the outdoor area. Each set includes 16 colourful cards measuring 275 x 210mm. Age 3+
What one is your favourite?