Hands-on learning is a perfect way to use these number and counting activities. Your preschooler or kindergarten children will love these activities, and book suggestions.
50 Number and Counting Activities
My son has loved learning his alphabets through hands-on activities, and learning his numbers has been no different. Here is a collection of some of our favorite number activities on the web.
How to Teach Numbers with Legos by Joy in the Home
Magnetic Rocket Puzzle by Fantastic Fun and Learning
DIY Numtum Fun by Adventures of Adam
Train Track Number Hunt by Craftulate
Learning Numbers with Balloons by Teaching Mama
DIY Number Line by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Transportation Connect the Dots with Numbers by Craftulate
Race Car Math: Number Recognition by Frugal Fun with Boys
Homemade Numbered Popsicle Sticks Puzzle by Artsymomma
Active Number Game by Pieces by Polly
Exploring Loose Parts for Math by One Perfect Day
Learning Numbers by Activity Mom
Numeral Card Games by Kids Activity Blog
Playful Numeracy Math by Racheous
Number Recognition & Ordering with Paper Tubes by Learning with Play at Home
How to Teach Number Recognition with Sequence by Joy in the Home
Number Recognition with Marbles by Parenting Fun
Chalk Number Recognition with The Mother Huddle
Sort the Mail Play & Number Recognition Game by No Time for Flashcards
Number Sort by Learning 4 Kids
Star Number Cards by Teaching Mama
Working with Numbers by Kids Activity Blog
Simple Games for Number Recognition by Reading Confetti
Number Recognition Activity by The Princess and the Tot
Number Recognition Bean Bag Toss by The Sun Scholars
There is a different between number activities and counting activities. Children can learn how to identify numbers but then they must learn how to count in order to move forward with learning.
Math Games with Dominoes and Cards by Kids Activity Blog
Let’s Go on a Counting Walk by Creative Family Fun
Play Dough Numbers by Here Comes the Girls Blog
Counting Practice for Toddlers with Pom Poms & Tubes by Where Imaginations Grows
Homemade Number Boards – Learning to Count by Artsymomma
Dump Truck Counting Math by The Measure Mom
DIY Counting Math Games by Where Imagination Grows
Counting with Play Dough Flowers by Here Comes the Girls Blog
Race to Fill the Cup – Counting Game by Frugal Fun with Boys
How Many by 1+1+1=1
Magnetic Pom Pom Counting by Teaching Mama
Race to Loose a Tooth by Toddler Approved
Counting Blocks, Building Towers by Hands on: As We Grow
Hot Chocolate Math by The Measured Mom
Paint Chip Number Punch by Reading Confetti
Kids Number Game by Kids Activity Blog
Counting Game: Run and Count by The Pleasantest Thing
Preschool Math with Lego Duplos by Frugal Fun for Boys
Numbers and Counting Egg Carton by Pocketful of Poises Blog
Ladybug Number Match and Counting Activity by Coffee Cups and Crayons
The Way We Count by For This Season
Number Line Run by Coffee Cups and Crayons
Number Rocks Math by B-Inspired Mama
Count and Sort Mailing Box Math Game by The Imagination Tree
Counting with Dice and Blocks by Hands on: As We Grow
Do you like hands-on activities? These 50 alphabet activities that you can do with your preschooler or kindergarten age children will be a great way to learn through play.
50 Alphabet Activities for Hands-on Learning
My son absolutely loves hands-on learning. We started many of these ideas when he was just two years old. He was learning the letters so quickly because he was engaged through play. That is what I love best about our learning boxes, and the hands-on activities around the web. Children are literally learning through play!
I want to share some of our favorite alphabet activities, and some great book ideas with you.
Alphabet Title Learning Box by Joy in the Home
DIY Touch and Feel Alphabet by Montessori En Casa
Garden ABC Hunt by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Letter of the Week Crafts by Crystal & Co.
ABC Bingo by My Joy-filled Life
How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos by Joy in the Home
Hungry Bear ABC Game by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Sandpaper-Like Letters DIY by Frog in a Pocket
DIY Light Table Alphabet by Winegums & Watermelons
ABC Scavenger Hunt at the Park by Craftulate
DIY Alphabet Pocket Chart by Lalymom
Geoboard Light Table Play Letter Shapes by Where Imagination Grows
Outdoor Alphabet Tracing by Artsy Momma
Alphabet Board by My Life of Travels and Adventures
Alphabet Order Game by Learn with Play at Home
Alphabet Beads Learning Box by Joy in the Home
Access Letters and Sounds with Puzzles by This Reading Mama
Alphabet Box by Living Montessori Now
Letter Sound Matching Game by Teaching Mama
Printable Letter Outlines by For This Season
Driveway ABC Game by Creative Family Fun
Alphabet Train by Craftulate
Water Bead Letter Recognition by Where Imagination Grows
Alphabet Party by Learn with Play at Home
Simple Alphabet Play Dough Tray by Little Bins for Little Hands
Alphabet Clothes Pins Learning Box by Joy in the Home
Seek and Shoot ABC Basketball by My Joy-filled Life
Alphabet Hop Game by Teacher Mama
Alphabet Rainbow Hunt by Adventures of Adam
Alphabet Lapbook with Game by The Mommy Talks
Race Car Alphabet Practice by Teach Beside Me
26 Ways to Learn the ABCs by This Reading Mama
Around the Table ABCs by Teacher Mama
DIY Alphablock Dominos by Adventures of Adam
Magnetic Letter Alphabet Soup by Pre-K Pages
Play-Doh Alphabet: A Pre-writing Activity by Joy in the Home
Alphabet Mat by Teach Beside Me
Homemade Tactile Letter Cards by Teaching Mama
Active Alphabet Activities by Toddler Approved
ABC Alphabet Clothes Pin Activity by The Chick n’ Coop
Alphabet Stamping: A Pre-writing Activity by Joy in the Home
Alphabet Train Matching Activity for Kids by Toddler Approved
Letter Delivery by Growing Book by Book
Alphabet Garden by No Time for Flash Cards
Treasure Hunt Alphabet Activity by B-inspired Mama
7 Preschool Activities to Teach the Alphabet by Joy in the Home
31 Days of ABCs by All Done Monkey
ABCs of Movement Flashcards for Kids by Golden Reflection Blog
Learning Letters with Pipe Cleaners by Make and Takes
Alphabet for Starters by No Time for Flashcards
We don’t do math workbooks for the first two years of school, but focus on hands-on activities to teach the math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. My kids have loved this way of play to learn these skills. This learning math with dominos activities is how we are working on both my son’s addition and writing his numbers from memory.
Learning Math with Dominos
When our children are as young as two, we start with hands-on learning activities with learning boxes. One of our learning boxes are Dominos. The best set to get for learning is the 12 Colored Dots Dominos which already comes in their own tin box, so you can work on all the math facts from 0-12 with this activity, as well as practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
My son just turned six, and he can already do most of his addition facts, plus most of the concepts of subtraction.
All you need to do this learning activity for math with dominos:
Practicing math with dominos is so easy, and your kids will love it!
All I do is pull out as many dominos that can fit on the work surface, providing space for the child to write their answers below each domino. Then I leave the child alone to work the problems, which are usually around 12 or so for our working space.
When he is done, I come back and check his work. If there are any mistakes, I will point to those, and he will correct it by crossing out the old number or erasing it, and writing the correct answer in its place or below the wrong answer.
If we are doing it on paper, we will turn the paper over and do more on the other side.
We add lines under each domino to prepare the child for regular worksheets for math. You can prepare paper ahead of time with the lines, and have the child fill the space with the number of dominos that you assigned during their hands-on learning time. My six year old loves to draw his own lines, though, so I just provide him with the number of dominos to work on during his lessons, which is around 25-30 dominos.
Another fun way to add more practice with the same answers that the child already provided for that learning session is to take all the dominos off the work space (being careful if you are using chalk or dry erase markers). Next, mix the dominos up and have the child place the dominos on the matching answers.
If there are any mistakes that time, separate them or make a note of the numbers on the dominos and have them practice the ones they got wrong the next day, until they have them completely correct the first time.
When a child begins to journey of reading, practice is the most important thing to having success. Once a child starts to learn the wonderful way of blending sounds together to make words, the magic for them has just started and the written language begins to come alive to them, everywhere. That is why I wanted to make my son his own DIY reading lesson cards for learning on the go.
DIY Reading Lesson Cards for Learning On the G0
Before this school year started, I had all intentions of using All About Reading to teach my last child to read, because I absolutely love the All About Spelling, however as I was putting together things for our curriculum, I had the impression that I needed to change this plan and use 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read.
One thing I have learned in these 16 years of pulling together homeschool curriculum for my children is that when you are praying for guidance in your unique child’s education, you listen to those little impressions and I’m so glad that I did. He loves it, and is moving through the book with ease, and learning very quickly!
My son loves to write, and practice not only his letters but words he remembers from his reading lessons, or words he tries to sound out on his own. I want to encourage him to keep learning, and to do that at any time, so I wanted to make him some DIY reading lesson cards for learning on the go, like I did for him with the DIY Bible Lesson Cards for Learning on the Go.
These are simple and easy to make.
Using index cards, just nicely write your child’s sentences that they are reading in their lessons, being sure to use a black marker, and even marks that they are seeing in their reading lesson, like the line over the ‘e’ to let the child know it is a long ‘e’ and it says its second sound, or ‘its name’.
Once you are done, laminate the cards. Punch holes in the corner (I like to line them up with a previous one to be sure that the holes match up correctly), and then add it to the ring. You can add more sentences as the reading lessons go on.
You can take these DIY reading lessons cards with you anywhere, allowing your child to practice in the car, in waiting rooms, or even demonstrate his or her learning to a loved one.
Your child will love these lesson cards and will practice their skill again and again, improving their reading speed each time.
Children love learning centers, so why not create a learning center in your home? Our five year old has had the benefit of learning boxes since he was two and at the age of five, he still enjoys them and learns at all times of the days with the simple addition of a learning center in our home.
How to Create a Learning Center in Your Home
I had creating a learning center out of reach when my youngest was little, because of the choking hazards of many of the learning boxes that we would do together. As he has grown, we realized that we needed to move these loved boxes down where he was able to enjoy these learning activities throughout the day, especially since he is way past the age of putting things in his mouth.
I used a shelf that we have had since we were first married and I decided to paint it to go with the other elements in our school room. We loved the fresh color and how the colors popped together for an inviting area for our son that loves hands-on activities to learn the foundation of his education.
We filled the learning center with learning boxes that will teach him through play, knowing the benefits that they bring to his education.
Here are some of the Learning Boxes that Fill Our Learning Center
The more you turn playtime into learning time, you give your child a head start to the foundations of learning. One of those foundations is that learning is fun!
My preschooler loves learning boxes of all kinds, however his love of colors and sorting makes this pattern learning box a perfect learning activity for him.
Here is what you will need to do a Pattern Learning Box:
My little guy loves to have the pattern blocks spilt out on the table, so he can easily find the colored shape that he is looking for next. I love the simple activity cards because they really are something that I was able to show him how to do in just a matter of a few seconds and he caught on. The different colors on the cards help him to identify by color first and then think about the shape as he places it on the card.
We enjoy talking about the object he is building and he likes to tell me things about them as he is working on his activity card.
He loves for me to take a picture of his finished card, so he can show his daddy in the evening.
This is a perfect learning box for when I need 10-15 minutes for another project in the house or to help another child in homeschooling.
I store the patterns in an box with the activity cards next to it, so he can easily get them out for his own learning box time.
If you like this post, you may also like How to Teach Numbers with Legos…
Children love motion, and often times they get antsy when doing lessons, so I implemented learning in motion into our homeschooling for my preschooler, to give him the opportunity to move around while developing his brain with a memory game.
Learning in Motion
I purchased two boxes of insect flash cards in preparation for this learning activity.
Display Sets Around the Room
I removed 8-10 insect cards from each box, to make sets from them. Next, I placed them around the room for easy viewing for my son to be able to find matches, as he moved around the room. Be sure to put the matches across the room from each other.
Identify the Matches
Once you are ready, you have your child or children come into the room. Let them know that they can not ‘touch’ any of the cards, until they have pointed out the matching set first. Once they have identified the set, they can gather the matching cards.
Learn about the Insects
Once a match is found, ask if the child knows what the insect is and if they don’t tell them the name of the insect. If the child is interested, share some fun facts with them or let them go back to the memory game and finding their next match.
We finished our insect game with having my son choice which insect to draw in his journal… he chose the Black Widow and I was happy to share about the dangers of this spider and why it is important to wear our shoes outside, because we do get them in our area.
Teach addition with dominos can be a fun way for kids to learn the basic concepts for math facts. My little guys absolutely loves playing with dominoes, so I turned these into a learning box for him to learn addition and of course, he loved it!
How to Teach Addition with Dominoes
In our homeschooling, we focus on learning the math facts with only hands-on learning. Once the facts are memorized, we move our children into curriculum books. This is one of the learning activities that help build their math fact skills.
I set up a bin with number tiles and organized them in order, so it is easy for my preschooler to find the numbers. I let him pick his own domino from the pile and then he needed to count the dots and place the corresponding number underneath the dominoes. I set up the addition and equal signs for him.
Once he has his equation built with the number tiles, I have him say the equation. For this example, he would say, “Three plus one equals”.
After reading the equation, I have him solve the equation by counting the ‘dots’ on the dominoes.
The last step is for him to find the answer in the number tile box and place it in the equation. He then reads the equation like this, “Three plus one equals four.”
We only do a few of these problems for each lesson at the beginning, and add to them as his skill improves.
If you like this post, you may also like Learning Math with Dominos…
Your child already loves play dough, so way not turn their play time into learning time with these learning activities that will for sure be fun and exciting for your preschool child to enjoy.
Learning Shapes with Play Dough by Teachers of Good Things
Play Dough Bug Fossils by No Time for Flashcards
Learning Letters with Play Dough by Pinning with a Purpose
Play Dough Fine Motor Color Match by Sugar Aunts
Learning Numbers with Play Dough by Teachers of Good Things
Counting and Patterning with Play Dough by The Imagination Tree
Play Dough and Craft Sticks by Tot School
Number Play Dough by Learning 4 Kids
Learning Addition with Play Dough by Teachers of Good Things
Play Dough Spelling by A Little Learning for Two
Homemade Plant Earth Play Dough by the Seasoned Mom
Electric Dough by Classic Play
I absolutely love teaching my preschooler with learning boxes and items that he already enjoys playing with on a regular basis, like play dough!
Learning Addition with Play Dough
To begin this activity, you will need to have something to make numbers in the play dough. We use Play Doh’s Learn About Shapes and Numbers to do this activity, as well as our Number activity and our shape activity.
My little guy loves to add a lot of color to his activities, but you can just use one color of play dough to do this learning activity.
You will need a manipulative to do this hands-on activity. We used beads, but counting bears, beans or other things would work, as well.
I use the term ‘equation‘ when we are working on our math activities, like in using cars to learn addition and subtraction. I say, “Build an equation with the addition sign.”
My preschooler will take the numbers that he desires and builds the equation, with the addition sign in the middle of two numbers and the equal sign at the end.
Using the manipulative of his choice, he builds it with counting the first part of the equation.
Next, he ‘adds’ the next part of the equation and counts the manipulatives to ensure he has the right amount.
Once he knows he has the right number of manipulatives for each part of the equation, he moves then over to the other side of the equal size and counts them.
Once he knows the number, he finds the play dough number and places it at the top of the manipulatives. He then says the equation: “4 plus 2 equals 6”.
We usually have time for three or four equation for a lesson before we stop.
Most children love play dough, so I decided to turn this play time into learning time.
Learning Numbers with Play Dough
We use Play-Doh Learn About Shapes and Numbers to do this activity and as you guessed it, Learning Shapes with Play Dough.
First, roll out several Play Doh colors for extra practice with colors and following directions, as your preschooler practices their number recognition. Be sure the numbers are in front of the child and that you distinguish between a 6 and a 9 – I tell my children, ‘a 6 has a circle on the bottom and a 9 has a circle on top’.
Next, just tell your child to make a ‘yellow 2’ or a ‘purple 9’.
It is important to start slowly with this learning box activity, but it is very easy to build on the difficulty as their skills improve.
Increase the Difficulty
Tell the child to make the numbers that come before and after a certain number. For an example, ask the child to make the number before and after a 4. They should make a 3 and a 5 in the color of play dough that you requested.
Make patterns with the colors, as they learn to count in order. Make a red 1, a purple 2, a yellow 3, and a red 4. Then arrange them in order. Ask them to decide from the pattern what color the number 5 should be (purple) and what color the next letter would be (a yellow 6).
Increase their memory by giving them instructions to making several numbers. Make me a yellow 2, a purple 8, a red 4 and a pink 6. Start with two or three instructions and increase them as their ability improves.
My son loves learning boxes and activities because they are just play to him, but I love them because they are learning while playing. I came up with a few learning activities with play dough and he is really enjoying doing something during play dough time verses just cutting the play dough (yes, that is what he mostly does, learning how to use a knife, scissors and pizza cutter – of course, all toys).
Learning Shapes with Play Dough
I started this activity with several colored play dough rolled out, and the plastic shapes in front of him. I would ask him which cutter was a ‘triangle’, ‘rectangle’ and so on, to know what he already knew and it surprised me!
Once we were ready to start the learning shapes with play dough, I would ask him to make me a ‘purple triangle’. He would find the triangle and then cut in the purple play dough. This is a great opportunity to work on colors if your child hasn’t mastered them yet, but I also loved that he had to process TWO details for this exercise: find the triangle AND the purple play dough.
As he was doing the learning activity, I was explaining to him why we called a ‘triangle’ a ‘triangle’ – because it has 3 sides. Then an ‘octagon’ has eight sides. He counted them to be sure I was correct and his smile was always assuring me that I knew my shapes.
He struggled to identify the difference between a ‘square’ and a ‘rectangle’, so helping him look at it closer really helped him see that a ‘square’ has four exact sizes, where a ‘rectangle’ only has four sides. Reminding him that a square can be a rectangle, because it has four sides, a rectangle can never be a square because they need to be exact same size to be a square.
At the end of our activity, I would evaluate how much he remembered and asked him questions like these:
- What color is the circle?
- How many sizes does the octagon have?
- Which one is the octagon?
- What shape has four equal sizes?
- What do we call the green shape?
He didn’t know the answer to all the questions, but I would give him the answers if he needed help and he would repeat it. Over time with this activity, he will know not only the shapes but the definitions of what they are and this will help him in math.