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Number Fun Activities

Help your children with learning to count and to recognise numbers with these fun, play based activities that are easy and quick to set up.

When it comes to learning numbers the best way to approach it is no pressure. Children will learn at their own pace. Every child is different, some may pick up learning to count really quickly while others may take a bit longer. There is no right or wrong age. It is well known that children learn best through play, games and activities. The more a child is exposed to numbers the easier it is for them to learn. This can include counting the stairs as you climb them, reading books, pointing out numbers you see outside.

When it comes to learning through play most of the time the simplest ideas are the most effective. I've compiled some of the easiest number activities for your little ones whether they are only just learning to count or are more established with numbers.

Number Fun Activities

Number Line Up

I used some wooden numbers from 1 to 10 and a box of buttons. The aim is to place the right number of buttons next to the corresponding wooden number. If you don't have a wooden puzzles you can write the numbers on a piece of paper or use Uno cards. You can substitute the buttons for any other age appropriate items such as toy cars, lego bricks or even Cheerios.

Peg The Card

This is a great activity for preschoolers who have slightly more hand coordination and the fine motor skills to pinch the pegs. The aim of this activity is to match the correct number of pegs to the card. I used Uno cards but this can be swapped for flash cards or written numbers on paper. 

Play-doh Numbers

Play-doh is such a great resource to have, it's so versatile and it really gets little hands working. This is a very quick activity to set up. You will need some number cookie cutters for this to be effective. Simply roll out some Play-doh and let your child cut out numbers using the cookie cutters.

Numicon Counting to Ten

If you invest in one resource to aid number development then it should be Numicon. It is such an open ended resource that can be used in multiple ways to help maths understanding. You can read my full blog post here.

Hide & Seek Number Sensory Bin

This is great for children who are just starting to learn numbers. A sensory bin allows the element of play which is hugely beneficial for children's learning, they don't realise they are learning! Simply set up a sensory box, this could be with rainbow rice, lentils, cous cous, sand, oats or pom poms and hide some numbers in it. You could also include scoops, cups, ladles or tongs to enhance the play which will also help fine motor development. 

Building Blocks 

The aim of this activity is to encourage number learning by building towers to the corresponding number. Using either building blocks, Duplo or Mega Bloks and some numbers to set this activity up. This is another activity that is great for working little hands and hand-eye coordination. 

Pasta Threading

This activity is not only great for number development but is fantastic for fine motor skills. For this activity I used pipe cleaners, penne pasta and some numbers. Simply thread the pasta onto the pipe cleaners to match the numbers. Alternatively you could use some uncooked spaghetti placed into some play-doh and then thread some penne pasta/beads/cheerios onto the spaghetti. 

Counting While Eating

For something a little different why not try making a counting muffin tin meal. For this I simply added different food items into each muffin tin hole starting with one item and working my way up to 12 items. Obviously adapt this to foods that your child likes. 

Muffin Tin Counting

Very similar to the number line up this activity uses a muffin tin with some numbered cupcake cases. I used some buttons for this activity but you can use whatever you have around the house/garden. 

Dominoes Match

This is a very simple activity that doesn't require a lot set up. Just simply trace around the dominoes and then input the numbers. Place the dominoes face down and then let your child match up the dominoes. Great for showing children how to identify numbers and place value. To make easier for younger children you could replicate the dots rather than adding the numbers.

Paint Number Stamping

Using some number cookie cutters or stamps this is a really easy number activity. Set up some paint with some paper and simply let your child stamp away on the paper. 

Magnetic Number Match Up

This a great activity as it incorporates magnets. For this activity I used Uno cards, magnetic numbers and obviously a magnetic surface. If you do not have Uno cards you could simply use written numbers on post it notes or flashcards instead.  I simply put the Uno cards onto a baking tray and then let my child match up the magnetic numbers. You also do this on the fridge or a radiator. 

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