BlogActivities for Kids21 Best Number Activities for Preschoolers: Count on Fun!

21 Best Number Activities for Preschoolers: Count on Fun!

We often focus on literacy, teaching kids to read and write. But numeracy, the ability to understand and work with numbers, is equally crucial. It’s not just about being able to do math in school; it’s about setting the foundation for a lifetime of learning, understanding, and problem-solving.

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In this blog, we’ll explore some engaging number activities for preschoolers. These activities are designed to make learning fun and interactive, ensuring that our little ones develop a strong foundation in numeracy that will benefit them for years to come. So, let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of numbers together!

Importance of Number Activities for Preschoolers

Did you know that a child’s ability to count, recognize numbers, and understand quantities during their preschool years can significantly influence their mathematical performance in school? According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, early numeracy skills are not just fun activities for kids; they are powerful predictors of school-age mathematical learning and performance. In fact, children’s mathematical knowledge when they start school is the strongest predictor of their later math success and even success in other academic areas. This highlights the immense importance of nurturing these skills from a young age.

5 Number Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

Recognizing numbers is one of the foundational steps in a child’s mathematical journey. As they begin to familiarize themselves with the shapes and names of numbers, they lay the groundwork for more advanced mathematical concepts. These number recognition activities are designed to make this learning process engaging and fun. Let’s dive in!

1. Number Hunt

Transform playtime into a number-finding adventure. This preschool number activities idea not only sharpens observational skills but also reinforces number recognition. As kids excitedly search and identify numbers, they simultaneously build a strong foundation in numeracy.

Materials Needed:

  • Number flashcards or printed numbers
  • Tape or pins for securing numbers

How to Do It:

Hide the number flashcards around your garden or play area. Ask the child to find and identify each number they discover.

2. Number Match-Up

Number matchup flashcards
Source: @Picklebums.com

A tactile way to introduce numbers for kids, this activity combines counting with number recognition. By matching tangible objects to their corresponding numbers, children develop a deeper understanding of quantities and their numeric representations.

Materials Needed:

  • Number flashcards
  • Objects like buttons, beads, or toy cars

How to Do It:

Lay out the number flashcards. Ask the child to place the corresponding number of objects on each card.

3. Number Fishing

A boy using a fishing rod to catch numbered fish
Source: @MessyLittleMonster

Marry the thrill of fishing with activities with numbers. As children fish out numbers and shout them out, they not only refine their motor skills but also enhance their number recognition abilities in a playful setting.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper or cardboard cutouts of numbers
  • A small magnet attached to each number
  • A toy fishing rod or a stick with a string and magnet attached

How to Do It:

Spread the number cutouts on the floor. Ask the child to “fish” for numbers and identify each one they catch.

4. Number Hopscotch

A hopscotch drawn on the road
Source: @Dreme.Stanford.Edu

A timeless game revamped as one of the most dynamic number activities for toddlers. Hopping on numbers sequentially, children not only get a good physical workout but also reinforce their number recognition and sequencing skills.

Materials Needed:

  • Chalk or tape for drawing
  • A small stone or beanbag

How to Do It:

Draw a hopscotch grid with numbers. Ask the child to throw the stone and hop to the number it lands on, saying the number aloud.

5. Number Collage

Colorful paper number collage
Source: @Pinterest 

In this number activity, creativity meets numeracy. Crafting numbers using various materials, kids not only recognize numbers but also understand their shapes, all while indulging their artistic side.

Materials Needed:

  • Craft paper
  • Glue
  • Craft materials like buttons, ribbons and beads

How to Do It:

Draw numbers on craft paper. Ask the child to decorate each number using the craft materials.

You can also explore such number recognition games online. They are not only easily accessible but also engage children in a fun way.

CTA: Add card layout like this here of this page 

5 Number Sequence Activities for Preschoolers

Sequencing numbers is a crucial step in understanding the order and progression of numerals. As children begin to recognize patterns and sequences, they develop a deeper comprehension of the mathematical world around them. These number activities for preschoolers are tailored to enhance their sequencing skills in an interactive and enjoyable manner. Let’s explore them.

6. Number Line Jump

Parents and kids making a number line on the sidewalk
Source: @StillPlayingSchool.com

Turn a simple number line into a hopping adventure. This activity encourages kids to jump from one number to the next, understanding the sequence in a physical way. It’s one of the most dynamic number activities for preschoolers that combines movement with learning.

Materials Needed:

  • Chalk or tape for drawing
  • Number flashcards or printed numbers

How to Do It:

Draw a number line on the ground. Ask the child to jump and call out numbers in sequence, either forwards or backwards.

7. Number Train

A DIY number train art
Source: @​​FunnyCrafts.us

All aboard the number train! Children line up toy trains or cars in the sequence of numbers, understanding the progression visually. This hands-on activity is perfect for tactile learners and makes number activities for preschoolers engaging.

You can also explore a collection of number sequence games online. These online games offer a similar sequencing experience, enhancing the child’s understanding of number progression.

Materials Needed:

  • Toy trains or cars
  • Number stickers or markers

How to Do It:

Label each toy with a number. Ask the child to line them up in the correct sequence.

8. Number Ladder Climb

Kids climbing a ladder
Source: @Vecteezy.com

Using ladders, children can climb their way through number sequences. As they step on each rung, they call out the number, reinforcing the sequence both physically and verbally.

Materials Needed:

  • A toy ladder or a drawn ladder on paper
  • Number flashcards or printed numbers

How to Do It:

Place numbers on each rung of the ladder. Ask the child to climb or trace the ladder, calling out numbers in sequence.

9. Number Puzzle Sequence

Sequencing worksheet
Source: @Nurtureneurons.com

Puzzles are a fantastic way to introduce sequencing. Children piece together number puzzles, understanding the order as they fit each piece. It’s a delightful blend of problem-solving and number activities for preschoolers.

Materials Needed:

  • Number puzzles

How to Do It:

Scramble the puzzle pieces. Ask the child to piece them together in the correct number sequence.

Related Reading: Best Math Puzzles for Kids

10. Number Song and Dance

Music and movement make learning sequences memorable. Children can sing and dance to number songs, understanding sequences in a rhythmic pattern. This activity adds a musical twist to number activities for preschoolers.

Materials Needed:

  • A Music player or a singing voice
  • Number songs

How to Do It:

Play or sing number songs that involve sequences. Encourage the child to sing along and dance, emphasizing the order of numbers.

6 Number Counting Activities for Kids

11. Counting Nature Walk

Mother walking in the park with a child

Take a stroll outdoors and turn nature into a counting classroom. This counting activity for preschoolers encourages kids to explore their environment, counting leaves, stones, flowers, or even insects. It’s a perfect blend of physical exploration and cognitive learning, making nature walks educational and fun.

Materials Needed:

  • A basket or bag
  • Nature checklist

How to Do It:

During a walk, ask the child to collect and count specific natural items.

12. Counting Bead String

A kid counting beads
Source: @FirstCry.com

Crafting meets counting in this hands-on activity. Children string beads, counting each one as they go. This tactile counting game for preschoolers not only enhances fine motor skills but also reinforces number recognition and counting in a fun, creative way.

Materials Needed:

  • Beads
  • String or yarn

How to Do It:

Provide beads and ask the child to string and count each one.

13. Count and Jump

Illustration of numbers and kids

Transform your living space into a counting playground. By jumping on numbered spots, children actively engage in counting math activities for preschoolers. It’s a dynamic way to reinforce number recognition, sequence, and counting while also promoting physical activity. 

For those who enjoy this activity and are looking for a digital counterpart, check out some amazing number counting games online! These games offer a similar interactive experience, making counting even more engaging.

Materials Needed:

  • Number flashcards or markers

How to Do It:

Lay out number cards. Ask the child to jump on each, counting aloud.

14. Counting Treasure Hunt

Two kids looking at a treasure hunt map

Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? In this engaging counting activity for kindergarten, children search for hidden treasures, counting each find. It’s an adventurous way to blend the excitement of discovery with the educational aspect of counting.

Materials Needed:

  • Small toys or treasures
  • A list of items to find

How to Do It:

Hide treasures and provide a list. Ask kids to find and count each item.

Related Reading: Make Learning Fun With These 15 Math Activities for Kindergarten

15. Counting Tower Challenge

Two kids building a tower

Building becomes an educational game in this activity. Children are challenged to build towers with blocks, counting each block as they stack. This hands-on counting activity for preschool not only promotes architectural creativity but also reinforces counting in a tangible manner.

Materials Needed:

  • Building blocks

How to Do It:

Ask the child to build a tower, counting each block as they stack.

16. Counting Abacus

A girl counting an an abacus
Source: @VidhyaShramSchool.Wixsite.com

Children are instantly attracted to the colorful beads of an abacus. Once you have acquired their attention, you can string learning with their curiosity. It works as a great counting activity as they move the beads in one direction and count numbers. 

Materials Needed:

  • A wooden or a plastic abacus

How to Do It:

Create a counting abacus game by placing a certain number of beads on each row of the abacus, then ask children to move beads while counting aloud, reinforcing numerical concepts and fine motor skills.

5 Number Formation and Writing Activities for Kids

Writing numbers is a significant milestone in a child’s mathematical journey. It’s not just about putting pen to paper; it’s about understanding the form and structure of numbers. These activities are designed to make the process of number formation and writing interactive, tactile, and enjoyable.

17. Tracing Numbers with Fingers or Writing Tools

Kid tracing

Tracing is a foundational step in number writing. Children can start by using their fingers to trace numbers on paper, sand, or even in the air. As they become more confident, they can transition to using pencils, crayons, or markers. This activity enhances muscle memory, helping kids recognize and form numbers with ease.

Materials Needed:

  • Number tracing sheets or cards
  • Writing tools like pencils or crayons

18. Sand, Finger Paint, or Playdough Number Writing Activities

A kid using color sand to write numbers

Engage the senses with tactile writing experiences. Whether it’s writing numbers in sand, painting them with fingers, or molding them with playdough, these activities offer a hands-on approach to number formation. They not only reinforce number shapes but also provide a sensory-rich learning experience.

Materials Needed:

  • Sand tray or finger paint or playdough
  • Number templates or cards

19. Guided Writing Practice Using Number Worksheets or Workbooks

Structured practice is key to mastering number writing. Using worksheets or workbooks, children can practice writing numbers under guidance. These resources often come with dotted numbers, allowing kids to trace and then practice writing on their own.

For those who enjoy this structured approach and are looking for additional resources, this collection of number writing games and worksheets for kids online offers a plethora of interactive exercises to further hone their skills.

Materials Needed:

CTA: Add card layout like this here of this page 

20. Incorporating Numbers in Arts and Crafts Projects

Creativity meets numeracy in this activity. Children can create art projects that incorporate numbers, such as number collages, number-themed greeting cards, or even number masks. This approach makes learning numbers an artistic and imaginative endeavor.

Materials Needed:

  • Craft supplies like colored paper, glue, scissors
  • Number templates or stencils

21. Water Writing

A girl writing with water on road
Source: @TownSquareCentral.org

Water writing is a mess-free and eco-friendly way to practice number writing. Using a brush dipped in water, children can write numbers on a dry surface like a chalkboard or pavement. As the water evaporates, they can practice again, making it a sustainable practice method.

Materials Needed:

  • A brush or sponge
  • A dry surface like a chalkboard or pavement

For those looking for digital alternatives, consider exploring online number writing games. These interactive platforms offer dynamic ways to practice number formation and writing, combining technology with learning.

7 Benefits of Number Activities for Preschoolers

A kid playing math game

The term “number sense” might sound new to many, but its importance in early childhood education is undeniable. As described in a study by NRICH, number sense refers to a conceptual framework that enables a person to understand numbers and their relationships. This understanding is foundational for more advanced mathematical skills. Let’s delve into the benefits of number activities for preschoolers:

  1. Cognitive Development: Engaging in number activities stimulates the young brain, promoting cognitive growth and development.
  2. Foundation for Math: Early exposure to numbers helps in laying a strong foundation for more complex mathematical concepts in the future.
  3. Problem-Solving Skills: Number activities teach preschoolers to think critically and approach problems with a solution-oriented mindset.
  4. Logical Reasoning: These activities enhance logical reasoning, helping kids make connections and understand sequences.
  5. Enhances Memory: Remembering numbers, sequences, and patterns can improve a child’s memory and recall abilities.
  6. Promotes Curiosity: Number activities can spark curiosity, encouraging kids to ask questions and explore the world of math further.
  7. Development of Subitising Skills: Subitising, as mentioned in the study, is the ability to instantly recognize the number of objects in a small group without counting. This skill is foundational for understanding operations and developing valuable mental calculation strategies.

Incorporating number activities into a preschooler’s routine is not just about teaching them to count. It’s about nurturing their innate number sense, which plays a pivotal role in their overall cognitive and academic development. 

Conclusion

Introducing numbers to preschoolers doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right activities, it becomes a playful and memorable experience. From recognizing numbers in nature to tracing them with their little fingers, every activity adds a brick to their foundation of math. As they grow, these early lessons will shape their understanding and approach to more complex mathematical challenges. So, let’s take it one number at a time, ensuring our kids find joy in every count, trace, and sequence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What age is ideal to start these number activities with kids?

It’s great to start as early as the preschool age. Introducing numbers early helps kids develop a natural comfort and curiosity with math concepts.

Do I need special materials for these activities?

Most activities use everyday items or simple craft supplies. The idea is to make learning accessible and not dependent on resources.

How can I measure my child's progress with these activities?

Observe their confidence and ease in recognizing, sequencing, and writing numbers. Regular practice will show gradual improvement in their skills.

AUTHOR
Amy Gill
Amy Gill is a Contributing Editor at SplashLearn. As a former teacher, she likes to write about education reforms, edtech and how to make learning more fun for children.