I wanted to share a game that my four year old and I play. This game teaches counting and sorting, and can go up to whatever number you would like to teach. Jax and I have been working on his sitting-still skills lately, and this works perfectly with that. I like this game because it’s simple, fast (no begging him to finish before he gets up), and it’s free to make. It supports the Montessori approach to teaching, which I love.
Preschoolers learn best through games and hands-on activities. Jax and I get some one-on-one time together in the evenings when we play this. This game teaches:
- Number Recognition
- Simple Math
- Number concepts
Best of all, you get to use things you probably already have in your home. You will need:
A muffin tin, preferably a 12 count tin, cupcake liners, and a marker. Write a single number on the bottom of each cupcake liner: 1-12, 13-24, and so on. You will need small objects that will be used to count with. We have used buttons, mini marshmallows, Fruit Loops, Legos, beads, and candy corn (most of which we ate afterwards). Dried beans would also be good to use. It’s best to use the same size objects, but use what you have on hand. The Dollar Store is a great place to find things like this. I find that changing the objects keeps Jax interested.
Give your child the objects to sort into each numbered cup. If the cup has a a number seven in the bottom, then the child counts out seven objects to put into the cup. If your child counts out the correct number, award him or her with a small prize or a hug and a high-five, which is what Jax’s prize usually is.
Jax has really enjoyed playing this game. It’s one of the few games that he has repeatedly asked to play. So far, we have gotten up to number 24. We are slowly working our way up. Mostly, he counts each object alone and I watch and praise him when he is correct. He gets SO excited when he gets them right. When you are finished, you can save the cupcake liners for the next time you play.
This is a game you can play with your child from one to five years old. Enjoy!