Thank goodness this post isn’t about counting real frogs. There are a ton of frogs outside our house and I’d like to keep them outside! So far, our Frogs-Inside-the-House Count is at one. Let’s keep it there. Instead, here’s an easy and fun way to teach/reinforce the correspondence between written numerals and the number of items they represent.
What you’ll need:
- 10+ plastic frogs or other fun counters – I found my frogs at the Dollar Tree in sets of 6.
- 11 Notecards/pieces of cardstock – To make the cards, I used 11 pieces of extra large notecards that I had on hand. You could also just cut them out of cardstock. Mine measure about 5″x8″. Just make sure they’re big enough to fit all 10 counters on one piece of paper at once.
- Small stickers
- Gallon-sized zip-top bag (or on my last activity bag post, a couple commenters suggested sewing your own bags!)
To do this activity, show your children how to do the following and then let them expriment on their own:
- Place a card numeral side up.
- Count out the correct number of frogs.
- Turn the card over and match up the frogs to stickers to check that you’ve counted out the right number.
This is a great self-checking activity, because if the frogs and the stickers don’t match up, they’ll know to try again.
I made this activity for Beach Girl over a year ago, but just got around to trying it last week. I can’t remember where I found the idea originally, but I’ve seen a few similar activities. When I made this activity bag, she wasn’t quite old enough for it and I stuck it in my bin of activity bags, intending to try it sooner than now.
When we finally did the activity last week, I intended to only introduce numbers 0-3, but those were pretty easy for her so we ended up going all the way up to 10. I thought I’d waited too long for it to be a challenge, but as we got into higher numbers, it was harder for her to keep track of the one-to-one correspondence and to not count each frog multiple times. So, I’m planning to do this quite a bit more to help her reinforce the association between written numbers and counters. This will also be a great way to introduce basic addition.
(You can check out more activity bags we’ve loved here.)
Anybody else have other good counting activities to share? Beach Girl is really excited about numbers right now, so I’d love to give them a try!