7 Fun Counting Activities for Kids

Teaching your child how to count? Learning to count is one of the first mathematical concepts that children acquire and forms the foundations for later mathematical skills, such as addition and subtraction. As explained in this BBC article, a study from Johns Hopkins University found that children as young as 14 months can understand the concept of counting long before they learn the language of numbers. By counting real objects, you can help children make the connection between counting and the language we use to count. Caregivers can help children learn their 123s, just like learning their ABCs. Watch the video above, then read the learning tips below to see fun counting activities for kids. 

1. Play Dough Counting Activities for Kids

Sensory play activities are fantastic ways for little ones to learn and can be applied to counting. Using play dough, children can carefully roll the material into small balls. Little ones can then begin counting out the balls. It may also be useful to use different colours or textures, to distinguish between numbers. Check out this Mad Mattr Smart Doh, available in a range of bright colours – it never dries out and is allergen free! Hands-on activities such as this strengthen hand muscles and fine motor skills, as the children learn to manipulate the dough. 

2. Primary Resources Maths Counters

Counters are a brilliant way to teach kids how to count because there are so many options to choose from! This means you can tailor the counting lesson to suit your child’s individual preferences. You can shop a wonderful range of counters on WordUnited! For example, Learning Resources Snap ‘n’ Learn Counting Elephants are brightly coloured, labelled counting toys that encourage little hands to practice number sequencing. Each elephant snaps into place, with the blanket on its back colour coded to match the elephant that follows. Browse more primary resources maths counters here. Counters are also incredibly versatile and can be used for alternative forms of learning too. For example, sorting into different colours. Check out how to help toddlers learn about colours here 

3. Counting Math Worksheets for Home Learning

Whether you are a teacher searching for classroom worksheets or a parent looking for home learning sheets, WordUnited’s Free Resources Hub has just what you need! With hundreds of free activities for kids, you can easily print and download from any device. Plus, there is no signing up required. As the summer months are upon us, try summer counting math worksheets. With cute illustrations of watermelons, ice lollies and more, these Summer Counting Puzzles teach children to count from 1 to 20. Along the same lines, learn to count to 10 with this Fingerprint Counting Activity, where children count as they create fingerprint flower petals.  

4. Lacing and Threading Counting Activities

Lacing and threading activities can boost hand-eye coordination, pre-writing and fine motor skills development. In addition to this, such activities can inspire organic counting, as children can count each object they lace. Children may like to begin stringing chunky animal wooden cubes or vibrant lacing beads. These early years resources are brilliant for little fingers to grasp and hold. Alternatively, you can create your own lacing beads with dried pasta shells. To make the activity extra engaging, try dying the pasta with food colouring 

5. Kids’ Learning Books for Counting

Explore a fantastic range of kids’ learning books and help children learn how to count. For example, toddlers can count their way through the colourful pages of Counting Cockatoos board book and learn about different animals and numbers. Similarly, check out Count with Maisy, a fun lift-the-flap board book for little hands to explore as they count from one to ten. Alternately, try paperback picture books such as My Granny Went to Market and Baby Goes to Market to learn how to count with beautifully illustrated rhyming stories.  

6. Counting Toys for Kids

Discover thousands of amazing kids’ learning toys to promote your child’s learning, including how to count. Early counting toys such as stacking toys and this giant rainbow abacus are excellent learning resources for toddlers. Also, children can develop both counting skills and dexterity with chunky jigsaw puzzles. This Fair Trade puzzle teaches children how to count to ten, as they slot each interlinking wooden puzzle piece together to form a cat. Likewise, Orchard Toys Match & Count Puzzle encourages number and counting skills with picture card puzzles.  

7. Counting Hands Activity

When teaching kids how to count, using visual prompts such as hands can be supportive. Children can use their own hands or create DIY counting hands, as seen in the video above. Simply draw around your hands on colourful card and carefully cut them out with child-friendly safety scissors. It may also be handy to label each finger with numbers 1 to 10. Similarly, early years resources such as Finger Counting Boards help children develop mathematical skills such as counting but also knowing left from right. What’s more, this brilliant eco toy is crafted from sustainable, ethically-sourced European Beech and non-toxic paints.   

Read about more tips to help children learn at wordunited.com/blog and browse thousands of kids’ learning toys, books and resources at wordunited.com 

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