These hands on number activities help kids develop number sense, counting skills and number recognition. They make a great addition to back to school themed math centers in Preschool, PreK or Kindergarten.
Principles of Counting
If you’re new to teaching kids how to count, it’s helpful to first do a quick recap of the five principles of counting. These are fundamental concepts that guide how children understand numbers and counting.
- One-to-One Principle: Think of it like giving each object its own special number tag when you count. For every item, you say one number.
- Stable Order Principle: It’s like singing the alphabet song; you always say the numbers in the same order, every time.
- Cardinality Principle: The last number you say when counting stuff? That’s how many things there are in total. It’s like the grand total in a game.
- Abstraction Principle: You can count anything, really – toys, stars, cookies – it doesn’t matter what they are, counting works for all kinds of things.
- Order Irrelevance Principle: This one’s cool – you can count objects in any order you like, and you’ll still end up with the same total. It’s like taking different paths but ending up at the same picnic spot. I often check this by getting kids to count objects in a line and say how many there are. Then I shuffle them into a scattered pattern and ask them how many there are again. Hopefully they will say the amount without starting to re-count them to check, then I know they understand this principle.
Number Activities (0-30)
I created the following counting and number activities to help kids learn numbers up thirty. They’re back to school themed but can be used all year round too. You can easily differentiate learning by pulling out the activities that focus on numbers up to 10, 20 or 30.
Counting With Ten Frames
Number Sense Activities
Numbers Before and After Activities
Teddy Bear Bus Math Activities