Learning numbers activities for preschoolers

40 Awesome Number Activities for Preschoolers

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27 Apr

Math & 123s
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Number activities for preschoolers don't have to be boring and just worksheets, make them fun so your preschooler will love math!

I love math. I’m a nerd, yes. But I love anything to do with numbers.

I really do hope I can pass this along to my kids by making learning activities about numbers and counting fun for them and not a chore.

As I’m typing this, Henry’s shouting excitedly as he’s counting how many things on his sprayer…though I’m not really sure what he’s counting exactly. He made it to 39 though!

Because I’m a huge math nerd I searched for easy and fun number activities for preschoolers.

My Favorite 40+ Number Activities for Preschoolers!

Try these activities to help preschoolers learn their ABCs!

Recognizing Numbers Activities for Preschoolers

Identifying numbers can be a learning experience for preschoolers (and younger!). Many of the ABC recognition activities can also be adjusted for numbers.

My kids love these 12 number activities for preschoolers to recognize numbers.

  1. Turn a number into sensory art – perfect for the 100th day of school!
  2. Go on a hunt for numbers and match it with the same number!
  3. Follow a number from start to finish in a maze.
  4. Trace numbers, really big!
  5. Little Family Fun created a parking lot with numbers.
  6. Pop! Find the number and pop it!
  7. Find and match playing cards.
  8. Have target practice with water balloons and numbers, like Motherhood on a Dime
  9. Make art! Do this paint by number canvas art.
  10. Use stickers and printable number cards to play hide and seek, from Teach Mama.
  11. Draw and paint over numbers with q-tips, like Toddler at Play!
  12. Clip and match with giant numbers from You’ve Got This Math!
Activities for Number Recognition

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

Learning there’s a sequence to the numbers and what comes next. Try these 18 number activities to help preschoolers learn to count.

  1. Connect the dots! A simple past-time activity that reinforces the order of numbers.
  2. Upcycle a box into a puzzle of numbers!
  3. Create a maze of numbers to drive through. Can they count their way to the end?
  4. Stacking up boxes and counting how high you can go!
  5. Make a craft together with multiple pieces. Have your child do the counting!
  6. Count cars of a particular color while on the road, or semis, or vans, whatever suits their interest!
  7. Create a learning game with your ABC mat and number blocks. Choose a number block and pound the corresponding times with a hammer on the corresponding number mat!
  8. Let your child run an experiment and measure how much something holds! How many cups fit?
  9. Make puzzles with a picture. Label sections of the puzzle in numerical order. Cut apart and have your child put it back together again, from Growing in PreK.
  10. Use friendly animal crackers to practice counting and number recognition, like I Can Teach My Child.
  11. Measure objects (or yourself!) and count how big they are, from The Imagination Tree
  12. Count objects around the house. No Time For Flash Cards wants to know “How many doors do you have?”
  13. Play any board game, or make your own! Little Family Fun creates a fish race game!
  14. Count with LEGO! Do Play Learn likes to label a paper with numbers and count out the LEGO next to it.
  15. Snack time! Use dice and fruit snacks and play until you eat them all up, like Kids Activities Blog.
  16. Have a bean bag toss on the stairs, number them!
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Counting Activities for Preschoolers

One to One Correspondence Activities for Preschoolers

Knowing your numbers is one thing and knowing how to count is another. But being able to put them into context that they each have meaning is done with one to one correspondence.

Get ready for preschool with 35 name activities!

I love these 12 number activities that help a preschool practice one to one correspondence.

  1. Head out into nature and explore flowers. Count and compare flower petals! 
  2. Go on a hunt for a number and match it to its corresponding dots.
  3. Build towers of blocks on a number mat, with the correct number of blocks high!
  4. Spark your child’s interest with their interests! A farming approach of loading grain bins with the corresponding number of pieces of “grain.”
  5. Have a newspaper throwing game and count up the newspaper balls, or how many you make, or miss!
  6. Make something in the kitchen together, or do an experiment and let your child measure out and do the counting.
  7. Sort through objects by color, and count how many you have of each!
  8. Fill a dump truck with objects (like Dominoes!) and count how many you can fit in there, like Inspiration Laboratories.
  9. Estimate first for some fun and then count item, from Teach Preschool.
  10. Have a counting race in the front yard and pick dandelions in the process!
  11. Roll a die (or two!) and practice one to one correspondence as kids build towers with blocks.
  12. Use a dice and small objects (like pom poms or corn kernels) and count them and fill up a tray.
One to One Number Activities for Preschoolers

Counting and number books that will get preschoolers excited about numbers:

  • The Baker’s Dozen: A Counting Book
  • I Spy Numbers
  • One Big Building: A Counting Book About Construction (Know Your Numbers)

Do you actively work on numbers and counting with your child? Share your favorite activities!


About Jamie Reimer

Jamie learned to be a hands on mom by creating activities, crafts and art projects for her three boys to do. Jamie needed the creative outlet that activities provided to get through the early years of parenting with a smile! Follow Jamie on Pinterest and Instagram!

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50+ Number Activities for Preschoolers

These number activities for preschoolers include many fun, engaging, and hands-on ways to explore numbers with young children. If you’re looking for math activities for preschoolers and kindergartners that focus on numbers, you’ve come to the right place!

Below, you’ll find a variety of preschool number activities to suit your needs. They let kids practice early math skills like number recognition, number formation, one-to-one correspondence, and counting. There are even a variety of number printables perfect for early childhood classrooms.

And all of the number activities take into account how young children learn. So the ideas encourage hands-on exploration with numbers and manipulatives.

Coming up, you’ll find all of the number-related activities from Fun-A-Day. I’ll keep adding to the list as I share more here with you, so be sure to pop back and check.

Table of Contents

Number Activities for Preschoolers

Click on the links that interest you the most, and be sure to save your favorite ones! I’ve started a new Numbers Pinterest board if that’s where you like saving links.

These number activities will help you teach a variety of important early math skills, like:

  • One-to-one correspondence
  • Number identification
  • Number formation
  • Matching numerals to quantities
  • Numerical order
  • Skip counting
  • Subitizing

Counting Activities for Preschoolers

We can’t talk about number activities for preschoolers without touching on counting, right? The links below can all be used to practice concepts like those listed above.

While each of these are different math skills, they’re very much interrelated. And, depending on the ages and needs of your students, you will focus on different ones with the following ideas.

Of course, there will be more coming in the future, and I’ll be sure to add the links then.

Preschool Number Printables

As promised, I also have some printables to add to this collection of number activities for preschoolers! While I’m not a fan of preschool worksheets, that usually only serve one purpose, I do rather like printables that can be used multiple ways.

In fact, I have over 40 number printables perfect for preschool and kindergarten classrooms! You can check them out by clicking on the link below:

Free Preschool Number Printables

Like the non-printable number ideas, these printables have been used with kids in both preschool and kindergarten. And they’re all great ways to explore early math concepts. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Rainbow Yarn Sensory Bin (with printable rainbow and gold ten frames)
  • Printable Bat Emergent Reader (that’s all about counting bats)
  • Snowman Roll and Cover

Okay, I’ll stop there. Since there are so many printable number activities for preschoolers, it’s best if you click through the link above. That way you can find just the right one for you and your kids!

Calendar Numbers

Okay, okay. So I didn’t stop there. Because I wanted to highlight a subset of the number printables. And those are the calendar numbers!

I highly recommend that you grab a few sets for yourself. You can use the number cards in SO MANY ways! They’re super easy to prep, and the illustrations allow for some whimsy throughout the year. Click on the link below to check them out:

Calendar Numbers

I have quite a few more planned out for the upcoming year. So be sure to save that post, too. That way you can get your hands on them as soon as they’re ready!

What is Counting?

Since I mentioned above the various skills these number activities for preschoolers can cover, I thought we’d chat a bit about what the terms mean.

We, as adults, tend to use the term “counting” to cover a few different bases. When it comes to early math, counting means determining the total number of items in a particular group.

Some examples of counting:

  • Holding up a finger for each year in a child’s age and counting them out loud. “One, two, three, four.”
  • Placing toy cars out on the table and counting them along the way.
  • Looking at five kids in line and counting them 1 through 5, sequentially.

So counting includes both numbers and sets of items. And the understanding that the last number said is the total of the items in the group.

What is Rote Counting?

If you’re here, you’re likely a teacher or caregiver of a young child. No doubt you’ve experienced said child practicing their counting (sometimes over and over and over again, right?!).

That’s rote counting – saying the numbers in order. Specifically, rote counting is reciting numbers in order (from memory). There are no specific objects being counted. The numbers are being said out loud in sequential order.

And, as with most things when it comes to young children, there are a few steps along the way to true rote counting. From toddlers saying, “One, three, nine . . .” to preschoolers counting to 20 but skipping 15, children work their way up to counting out loud.

What is One-to-One Correspondence?

One-to-one correspondence is the understanding that every object in a group can only be counted once; that every number corresponds with a specific quantity. It can also be explained as matching one item to one corresponding item or number.

This understanding is developed with lots of playful practice, in many different hands-on ways. Some examples of one-to-one correspondence in early childhood:

  • Putting a counting bear on top of a toy block – “I have one bear and one block!”
  • Placing manipulatives in a ten-frame, one frame at a time, with only one manipulative per square
  • Touching one toy at a time while saying the corresponding number out loud
  • Moving beads on a string as they’re being counted
  • Pointing to kids in line, one by one, and counting along the way
  • Counting each time a child hops on one foot

Most of the number activities for preschoolers included in this post can be used for counting with one-to-one correspondence. The activities help children move from rote counting to rational counting.

Matching Quantities to Numerals

One-to-one correspondence helps children learn that each number corresponds to a specific quantity. Using things like magnetic numbers or printable number cards can help kids move forward with corresponding quantities with numerals.

For example, you might place one of the calendar numbers on the table. It’s the numeral 5. Then your students can count out 5 Unifix cubes, one at a time, counting each one only once. So many early math skills are very much intertwined, so kids are exploring multiple concepts with each of the number activities for preschoolers.

Preschool Supplies for Exploring Numbers

Now that we’ve delved into all the fun number activities for preschoolers you can try out soon, let’s chat supplies. You don’t really have to have a certain type of material to teach kids about numbers. In fact, that’s one of the great things about preschool math – you can use items on-hand or already in your environment.

But, if you are looking for some suggestions, I’ve got you covered (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):

  • Jumbo number magnets
  • Counting bears
  • Unifix cubes
  • Sandpaper numerals

Now you’ll have to tell me what YOUR favorite number activities for preschoolers are! Leave them in the comments below this post.

Done-For-You Number Activities for Preschoolers

Let Preschool Teacher 101 make your teaching life easier with fully-developed, done-for-you preschool resources. That way you spend more time teaching and living your life, and less time planning!

We’ve got quite a few number-themed math resources that your students will love! They help support your math lessons and allow kids to practice number skills. Click on the images below to read more about a few of our resources:

Fine Motor Numbers: DotsNumber PuzzlesRainbow Writing NumbersNumber Fluency Strips

And be sure to check out The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101, a membership for preschool teachers just like you. With over 100 lesson plans, over 130 supplemental resources, editable templates, trainings, and more . . . The Pack can save you a ton of time!

You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Conditions for teaching counting to preschool children

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    Mathematics for children 3-4 years old. Counting up to 10. Games and tasks for printing

    At the age of 3-4 years, children have their first ideas about mathematics. To continue introducing your baby to the world of numbers and shapes, we offer parents to stock up on an arsenal of exciting activities. Remember that the most effective way to teach a child is through play. So knowledge will fit in the head of a young researcher much better, and interest in knowledge will only increase.

    Audio version of the article "MATHEMATICS FOR CHILDREN 3-4 YEARS OLD. LEARN COUNTING TO 10" The audio tag is not supported by your browser. Download. MATHEMATICS FOR CHILDREN 3-4 YEARS. LEARN COUNTING TO 10


    Mathematics for children. We continue to study the numbers

    Exercises for consolidating the account up to 10

    • We play and remember the number of numbers
    • Children's counts on the account up to 10

    Games for the ratio of numbers and objects

    • games with cards
    • Back the number
    • shop
    • Puzzle games

    Learning to compare “How much more is how much less”

    • Treat your friends
    • Compare cards
    • Who is more

    The first addition and subtraction examples. Learning to equalize objects

    Children of 3-4 years old are distinguished by high cognitive activity. Toddlers can perform simple operations within 5: count in order, recognize numbers, compare the number of objects. A three-year-old child understands the meaning of the words "more" and "less", has an idea about addition and subtraction.

    If the baby still does not know how to count, then our advice from the article “Mathematics for kids 2-3 years old. Learning numbers and learning to count” will help teach him. By the age of 4, children will have to master counting up to 10, learn how to act with new numbers. nine0005

    Mathematics for children. We continue the study of numbers

    Math classes with children 3-4 years old introduce new concepts to kids. This age group has its own characteristics. At the age of 3, the visual-effective type of thinking is gradually replaced by a visual-figurative one. Kids learn to perform simple tasks not only with objects, but also with numbers.

    It's time to learn to count up to 10. Learning math counting rhymes for the little ones makes the lessons interesting and exciting. In a fun atmosphere, children better remember new numbers, are able to solve the first examples. Using the right games and printouts will help you make friends with math. nine0005

    Exercises to consolidate counting up to 10

    Once your child is good at counting up to 5, move on to the next step. If the baby is still confused in numbers, return to the previous exercises. In mastering the account up to 10, difficulties may arise. This is fine. Repetition of the material, consistency and patience of adults will support the cognitive interest of the baby.

    Let's play and memorize the sequence of numbers

    Available games and exercises are designed for children 3-4 years old. With their help, the kid will master the quantitative and ordinal count within 10, learn to call neighboring numbers. nine0005

    Divided pictures

    For games, funny pictures are used, cut into equal strips vertically or horizontally. From them you need to make a complete image. The hint is the serial number located on each part.

    Sequentially arranging the numbers, the baby will be able to correctly fold the picture. The game forms in children an idea of ​​the whole and the part, teaches counting up to 10, helps to remember the order of numbers.

    You can download split pictures on our website. nine0005 Download 12 pictures


    Place a bucket with numbers made of plastic or on cards in front of the baby. Tell them that they went for a walk and walked in order one after another. But suddenly a strong wind came up, whirled everyone and mixed up the row.

    You need to help the numbers and build them again from 1 to 10. Try it yourself (the child builds a numerical sequence). Ready? Now let's check if the numbers are correct? Count out loud (the baby performs an ordinal count). Well done, that's right (in case of an error, ask to think and correct). nine0005

    Find neighbors

    Have your child build a sequential row of cards with the first ten numbers. Ask what are the neighbors of the number 4 on both sides (answer 3-5), 6 (5-7), 9 (8-10)?

    If the task is beyond your strength, ask the neighbor who stands in front of the numbers 6, 8, 10 (answers 5, 7, 9.)

    Who knows, let him keep counting

    This game is quite difficult, designed for children from 3. 5 years old. One player says any number up to and including 7. The second one needs to name the next 3 numbers. For example: if 2 - then 3, 4, 5, if 4 - 5, 6, 7.

    The first number is called by the child, the adult shows how to answer correctly. Then the players switch roles. To make the task easier for the baby, you can use cards with the corresponding numbers for clarity.

    Connect the dots

    The game helps to remember the sequence of counting up to 10. Give the baby a sheet with dots and numbers from 1 to 10. Ask: “Do you want to know what is drawn here? Then take a pencil and connect the dots in order, from the smallest number to the largest. Say each number out loud. nine0005

    What is the smallest number? One. So, with what number should I start, show me? That's right, number 1. Go on. Who did you get? Kitten, well done! Now you can color the picture, it will be bright and beautiful. If the child is confused, repeat the ordinal count with him.

    You can download pictures for the game on our website under the gallery.

    Download 8 pictures

    Children's counting rhymes up to 10

    Poems and rhyming rhymes make math fun and entertaining for children aged 3-4. They can be supplemented with story games or used separately. We offer you to watch a funny musical cartoon-counting. nine0005

    Toddlers like short counting rhymes because they are easy to remember. Here are some examples.

    Counting from 1 to 10

    We learned to count.

    Well, then we don't know,

    Maybe we can count together

    Six - we love to eat sweets,

    Seven - we help everyone,

    Eight - we won't leave our friends in trouble.

    Nine - learning by five,

    Ten - finished counting.

    Author A. Metzger

    Ten crows

    I decided to count the crow:

    One, two, three, four, five Nine - feeds crows ...

    Well, ten is a jackdaw.

    So the counting rhyme is over


    A popular poem by S. Ya. Marshak will help you remember what the numbers look like and learn how to count them.

    “Funny account. One to ten"

    Here is one or one,
    Very thin, like a knitting needle,

    And here is the number two.
    Admire how it is:
    The deuce arches its neck,
    The tail drags behind it.

    And behind the deuce - look
    The number three appears.
    Three of the badges
    Consists of two hooks.

    Three are followed by four,
    Sharp elbow of a bulge.

    And then she went dancing
    Number five on paper.

    Stretched her hand to the right,
    Steeply bent her leg. nine0177 Number six - door lock:
    Hook above, circle below.

    Here is a seven - a poker.
    She has one leg.

    Eight has two rings
    Without beginning and end.

    Number nine or nine
    Circus acrobat:
    If you stand on your head,
    Number six nine will become.

    A number like the letter O
    This is zero or nothing.
    Round zero is so pretty,
    But it doesn't mean anything!

    If left, next to it
    Applicable unit,
    He will weigh more,
    Because that's ten.

    Write these numbers in order
    in your notebook.
    I'm talking about every now
    I'll write a story for you.

    S. Marshak

    The full version of the book can be bought at the Labyrinth store.

    Games for the ratio of numbers and objects

    We continue to acquaint the baby with the numbers of the first ten. We teach the child to recognize numbers from 1 to 10 and correlate with the same number of objects. Mathematics classes for children aged 3-4 include more complex tasks than a year ago. nine0005

    The baby will have to deal not only with real objects, but also with their image on cards or pictures. A selection of available games and printable tasks will make your task easier.

    Card games

    First you need to consolidate the skills of recognizing new numbers. Prepare two types of cards: one with pictures, the other with numbers. To captivate children, participate in the game as equals.

    Place the picture cards on the table. Put the numbers from 1 to 10 in a box, put them next to each other. Each participant in turn takes out a card with a number. It is required to find a picture with the same number of objects. nine0005 Download cards for the game

    Color in the number

    You will need special cards for the lesson. These fit well.

    If you use a pencil, it will be more interesting. Have your child count the number of items on each card. Ask them to show and circle the appropriate number.

    Ask: How many apples are in the picture? (three). Show the number 3. That's right, you can paint over the box.

    Download 2 sheets with cards

    Playing shop

    Kids imitate adults in everything and participate in the game with pleasure. Mom and dad are the buyers, the child is the seller. Use cards with different amounts of fruits, vegetables, toys, nuts. There should be no more than a dozen items in one picture.

    Instead of money, they use cards with numbers from 1 to 10. The buyer comes to the store, gives a card with the number 3 and asks to sell tomatoes. The seller needs to find the goods in the right quantity and hand them to the buyer. nine0005

    Puzzle games

    Toddlers can already make simple puzzles. The skill is useful for doing mathematics with children 3-4 years old. A variety of visual materials and tasks maintains interest in exercises, develops perseverance.

    Double puzzles consist of two parts. One shows a number from 1 to 10, the other shows the same number of familiar items (fruits, birds, flowers, circles). By folding the halves, the child learns the ratio of numbers with the number of objects. nine0005

    Puzzles for classes can be downloaded here.

    Download puzzles

    Cut the cards printed on the printer along the center line. Ask your child to find the matching halves and put together some puzzles.

    The first version of the game: match the second part to the number. The second is to find a half that matches each picture. It is convenient to use reusable wooden puzzles. You can buy them in the Ozon online store.

    Learning to compare “How much more to how much less”

    During the math classes between the ages of 2 and 3, the child learned to compare populations. He knows how to operate with the concepts of “more, less, equally”. At 3.5 years old, the child is able to determine the difference in numerical terms, to count how many items are more or less. You can develop the skill in everyday games with practical examples.

    Treat your friends

    3 toys came to visit us: a bunny, a clown and a tumbler. You need to give them candy. Take it out of the vase. How many sweets do we have (4)? Which is more - sweets or toys (candy). How much more (one)? Well done, she'll get you. nine0005

    Cards can still be used for games. Feed the squirrels with cones. Lay out 4 cards with the image of squirrels, and under them 3 cones. Ask the baby: “Did all the squirrels have enough cones? No? Who didn't have enough? And let's make squirrels and cones equally?

    Lay out a different number of cards each time and let the baby feed all the animals. Download cards for the game on our website.

    Download flashcards

    Compare flashcards

    During the day, between times, show your child two cards with different numbers of objects. Ask where are more items? How much? Where is less? The child will learn to compare groups and determine the difference in their number. nine0005

    For children 3-4 years old, you can already use different types of images: figurative pictures and geometric shapes. Let's say there are 3 carrots on one card, and 2 mugs on the second. Or 1 square and 5 chickens and so on. The task of the game is to teach the child to see the quantitative difference, regardless of the characteristics of the objects.

    Who is more

    An adult says: “Girls and boys are walking in the yard. Instead of boys, there will be squares, instead of girls, circles (puts 6 squares and 4 circles mixed on the table). How many guys are there? And which of them is more? How much? nine0005

    Tell the child that it is easy to find out if you arrange the figures in 2 rows, one under the other. How many fewer girls than boys? And now make sure that they were equally.

    It happens that it is difficult for a baby to determine the numerical difference. In this case, change the tasks to simpler "Greater than, less than or equal to." Cards for the game “One-many” can be downloaded in the article “Mathematics for kids 2-3 years old. Learning numbers and learning to count.”

    First addition and subtraction examples. Learning to equalize objects

    Math examples for 3-4 year olds introduce simple arithmetic operations. The child learns new words: subtract, subtract or add, add, learns to use them.

    For the first lessons, any compact objects are suitable - nuts, buttons, pebbles, toys. Then move on to the exercises with pictures or cards. For example, like this.

    Comparing rows of objects, the baby gets a visual idea of ​​the difference in quantity and fixes the score to 10.

    You can take the buttons, and for clarity we will use cards with apples and pears. If you also want to play with cards, you can download them here:

    Download cards

    Ask the baby to lay out two rows of buttons, one under the other. For the top you need to take 6 white buttons, for the bottom - 4 red ones.

    Give the task to make the rows the same or equal. The child will make several attempts and find the right solution.

    Tell me that you can equalize items in different ways. One of them is subtraction. We take away where there are more items. The other is addition, we add where it is less. nine0005

    Remove 2 apples

    Add 2 pears

    Let the child try both methods, commenting on his actions: “There are more white buttons than red ones. You have to take two.

    Learn more