Number Recognition Fun

Since it was -15 degrees when we woke up this morning and gradually warmed from -9 to a balmy zero while Em and I were doing errands, I thought it might be the right kind of day to share a fun indoor activity that I stole from Taming the Goblin that doesn’t require you to go outside at all!  Just stay home, bunker down, and have some learning fun with your preschoolers!

Em is still inconsistent with her number recognition–sometimes she knows them all, sometimes I swear she’s never seen them before.  I liked this game because it puts the numbers in context–a clock, in this example–so she can recognize them–but also it’s fine motor practice and physically manipulating the numbers so she can do more than just look at them.

Cape, pigtails, and toenail polish optional.

Basically, all I did was put numbers on the bottom of plastic cups and see if she could arrange them in order after I had mixed them up.

When indeed she showed me she could,

I tried the same thing putting the numbers in a circle like a clock.  She had no problems with that, either, so I thought I’d see if she could match the written number on the cup to a quantity.  In this case, I pulled out some pom poms and she put one in the cup with the number 1 on it, two in the cup with the number 2 on it, and so on.  I’m not sure what this taught her, but I wanted her to understand that each number symbolizes a quantity, and to demonstrate what that quantity is.  Of course she just wanted to play with pom poms!

I was also curious to see if she would think that the cups that were more full had more pom poms (because they were all different sizes, there could be 9 small pom poms that would be teeny compared to one large one).  She understood that in order to see which had more, she had to count the pom poms, not just see which one looked like it had more.

And as I always say whenever I attempt to have fun with math: this is not my forte or my comfort zone.  I don’t even know if what we’re doing is valuable, other than me spending time focusing on just my girl.  What I do know is that making my kids comfortable with letters and numbers can’t possibly hurt in terms of school preparedness, and if I can find a way to do that in multiple ways using various learning styles, I may just be putting our quiet time to good use!  Plus, it was fun!

Hope I helped you create a simple way to play with your child indoors this winter, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two!  If you come up with any other cool variations on this idea, please let me know!  Keeping learning light is part of our plans for the new year!

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