10 Fun Counting Activities for Young Children

With our hectic family lives, and often having to catch up with some chores over the weekend, it helps to collect as many ideas as we can for some simple boredom-busting games. It can sometimes be difficult to think of ways to entertain your little learner without allowing them too much screen time, but believe it or not, with some low-cost everyday items we can create hours of fun and essential learning with things around the home and garden.

So without further ado, here are the Cherry Bridge Station top 10 counting games, collected from online resources, our educators and the families who attend our centres.

1. Count the house

As you go from room to room doing laundry or other household chores ask your child to count certain objects around the house. How many doors do we have? This works with windows, rugs, pillows, pictures, anything…. You can carry a notebook to record the answers together, or draw them on a chalkboard.

2. Cereal box number puzzles

This idea courtesy of Hands On as We Grow creates a puzzle on both sides of the box. Simply cut into large pieces and number the pieces on the plain side so your little one can learn numbers as they piece it back together, or turn it over to reassemble the picture.

3. Counting cars

When you’re out and about you can count cars or houses, traffic lights or street signs. Make it a competition to see who counts the most of their ‘thing’ first, this helps to pass the time on long journeys too.

4. Number hunting

Find a number around the house, or while you’re out. Door numbers, numbers on shampoo bottles, in books, magazines, clocks, or even on the remote control. Choose a number each and see how many you can find.

5. Roll for a snack

Make healthy snacks into a fun counting game by filling a bowl with grapes or small squares of fruit. Take turns to roll the dice and count out your snacks as you eat them, until they are all gone. If you get lots of 6s you can always save some for later.

6. Stack ‘em

Empty food boxes, tubes, cartons and containers are great for this. Get your little one to stack them on top of each other as high as they can without it falling. Count them as you go and the stack with the most boxes wins.

7. Splat the number

Some sticky notes or pieces of card are perfect for this. Write numbers 1-6 on the notes and stick them to the floor. Add a dice and one clean plastic flyswatter and ta-da. This is a great stress reliever, especially if one of you rolls the dice while the other swats the corresponding numbers as quickly as you can!

8. Chalk hopscotch

Always have a box of chalk to hand if you can play near to any patio or paving slabs. Not only will kids love to draw silly pictures, but you can also make hopscotch or numbered stepping ‘stones’ so your little one can get active while they count and jump from one number to the next. It will wash off with water.

9. Chalk circles and stones

Again chalk can be used to draw numbered squares and you can help your child to collect things to put the correct number of things into the correct number square. You can use stones, leaves, building blocks or toys.

10. Pile high the pillows

Young children love playing with pillows and cushions and if you have the space this can go alongside a fun den building activity. Collect all the pillows and cushions that you don’t mind them playing with and count them as you pile them higher and higher. How many can you get in a pile before it falls?

Anything you can find around the home or garden to get your kids counting and familiarising themselves with numbers will serve to help them with developing their counting and numeracy. Learning through play and fun activities needn’t break the bank and is the best way to get our little learners to that soon-to-be-school-ready stage.