50 Number and Counting Activities with a Book List

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 & Counting Activities with Book List | www.joyinthehome.com

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.

Numbers Activities

How to Teach Numbers with Legos www.joyinthehome.com

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 www.joyinthehome.com

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


How to Learn Photography On a Budget

When our daughter wanted to learn photography, I was excited to see how far technology has come since the early days of my own desire to learn. I never will forget the rolls of film being developed and finding so many blurry photos that I thought were going to be amazing. The amount of money that we would go through just to get my ‘trial and error' photos developed is more than I care to admit. In fact, I still have about 30 rolls of film that I have used, but haven't developed. When that day comes, I know I will have all kinds of emotions with the photos of my children in their early years. Even if the photos turn out blurry!

How to Learn Photography on a Budget - Learning an art doesn't have to cost a lot of money. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Learn Photography on a Budget

When digital photography became a possibility to anyone, I remember looking at my husband who had already blessed me with an amazing DSLR and asking him how long before I could get a digital DSLR.

When we looked at the cost of one, compared to the cost of buying and developing film at the rate I was currently going through it, we realized that it was the smartest thing to do for our budget.

1) Digital Photography Is Already a Budget Saver

At this day and age, digital photography is what every things about when they are thinking about learning photography. So, it really is a no brainer for most people. However, there are some die-hard photographer lovers who just haven't moved on yet.

Digital cameras deliver amazing photography, so if you are still in the era of film, consider moving on.

All of our children have loved to learn photography, even our youngest, who started at just two years old.

Here are some of the recommendations for kids that you may be worried about their responsibility level, but want to encourage creativity with photography:

Here are some recommendations for beginners, who want to learn photography but not ready for a DSLR:

Here are some recommendations for those more serious about photography, and ready to take that jump into an investment with a DSLR (I'm personally a Nikon fan, and so is my daughter, who is a better photographer than I am, by far.):

2) Be Willing to Purchase a Used Camera

If your budget is still too tight to really purchase new, and take advantage of the warranties that come with a new purchase, I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a used camera.

We have found great digital cameras at yard sales, and through Craigslist and eBay. The trick to getting a good deal is to do your homework first on what you are really wanting to get, what functions are important to you and what types of lenses (assuming you are going with a DSLR) would be important to get started.

Window shopping is a great way to do your homework!

Go to a camera shop, and just play with display cameras. When you find what camera is sticking out to you, make note of the brand AND the model. Is it a Nikon or Canon? I'm currently using a Nikon D40, which is about 7 years old or more. My daughter has a Nikon D3000.

We both would LOVE to upgrade our cameras to a newer Nikon camera, like a D5200 or a D7100, but the budget just isn't there for these yet. However, when we are ready to buy our next cameras, our current ones that work great will be sold through these options.

Those looking for a great DSLR starter camera will be really able to fit it into a tight budget.

The key to buying used cameras is knowing what the older models are and what the original price was, and when the model came out.  You may want to keep a notebook for references.

Once you have a camera, you will want to learn how to use the camera. To do this on a budget, you will want to invest in a few things to help you learn.

3) Invest In Reusable Resources for Learning

My daughter, older son and I took camera lessons at a near by location. The class was full of other people of all ages, trying to learn how to use their DSLR camera to the fullest. We found that although we did learn some things in the 6 week course, we didn't walk away with enough to say it was worth the time, and money.

Investing in DVDs that we could watch again and again, with as many people in our family that desired to learn was the right thing for our budget. Here are some of our favorite ones to get started:


If you have a serious photographer in your home, and want to also give your child a credit for photography, take a look at these online courses, where you have lifetime access to with just one payment – I highly recommend these courses from Craftsy:

You may want your homeschool child to learn one of these courses each term, and then fill it with lots of practice of what is being learned, and turn their photography into a keepsake.

Take a look at Shotbox for anyone learning to be a photographer, as it provides great lighting for AMAZING photos!



Would you like to eliminate the challenge of homeschool curriculum choices while finding confidence that you are buying the right curriculum for your family? If so, you can download my free guide that includes secrets to evaluating curriculum that is a perfect fit for your unique family. Just click here to get Curriculum Evaluations The Why, What, & When to Making Curriculum Choices for FREE in your inbox.


Teach Reading To Your Child

Teach reading to your child. All homeschooling parents can get stuck on this most important aspect of teaching their children. Teaching reading can be overwhelming, and daunting when you haven't done it before or not sure where to start.

Teach Reading to Your Child - Not sure what to use or how to implement supplements, this will help! | www.joyinthehome.com

Teach Reading to Your Child

If you are in a place where you need to teach reading but are not sure where to begin, I would like to share some great resources with you to help you find the right fit for your own children. Before doing that I would like to share a few tips that I have found to make it so much easier to teach readers when these are in place.

Start Early With Letter Fun

Getting your child use to seeing letters, possibly even learning their names in play will make them friends to them. I love to do hands-on activities with my children, and my youngest has proven to be the best learner for reading in our family because of the kinds of letter fun he has done since he was two.

Here are the learning boxes I have done with him to learn letters:

How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos
Alphabet Tile Learning Box
Alphabet Clothes Pins Learning Box
Alphabet Beads Learning Box

Learn Phonics Without the Use of Books

The more a child learns phonics the easier reading is going to be for them. I have a few of my favorite things to teaching phonics with hands-on play that doesn't include books, and makes it easier to teach reading to your child.

In addition to these types of hands-on learning, you can also add phonic apps to your child's learning time before books with these:

Choose a Curriculum and Stay With It

Because I taught kindergarten for a year, and taught four of our children to read, I'm able to say with certainty that it takes time to teach reading to a child. What I have experienced with a struggling reader, and see it happening all the time is that we often forget that there is a process that goes into learning to read. If we don't lay the ground with the early steps of learning sounds before introducing books, the journey can take longer.

On the average it takes several months of consistent lessons to teach reading to a child. Within the homeschool community, if our child isn't reading by mid-school year, we are ready to give up on the curriculum we choose and find a new one.

Each of these changes can literally set back a child's learning for months, because they loose their confidence and begin to think the problem is them. Finding the right curriculum and sticking with it is really important to success of your child.

I can stand behind these two curriculums for reading:

You may also like 7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read

7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read www.joyinthehome.com



10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young

Boys have imaginations that need to have the permission to be explored. With raising our three boys, I have found that there are things boys should do when they are young to help them with not only getting their imagination an outlet but build necessary skills that they they use into adulthood.

10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young - The imagination of boys are worth tapping into while they are young. | www.joyinthehome.com

10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young

There is an obvious difference between a girl's imagination and that of a boy. The imagination of both work amazing together but when not influenced by each other, you can see stark differences in what they come up with on their own.

It is through this experience of raising my own boys that I want to be sure to open the doors for my youngest child's imagination to be allowed to blossom and grow without restrictions or invasions on my part. Please don't read that to mean that I'm discouraging parental guidelines or supervision, because that is the furthest from the truth.

Explore Nature

Boys and nature go hand in hand. Most boys naturally are drawn to creepy creatures, and slimy snakes, but often times aren't given the opportunity to explore in nature to observe the way of nature and to build a relationship with the world around them.

It has been through nature that my boys have learn compassion and how to care for others. Each of them have a tender heart for animals, but this can also be portrayed in how they react to people.

Climb Trees and Structures

Boys needs to get their energy out, and face their fears, otherwise they will tend to be whiny and shy away from challenges. Our son would often get stuck in trees, and one of us would have to climb up to help him down. It was also during this time that he would whine over the smallest things.

We encouraged him to climb more trees, and face his fears that he can get down safely as well. To build his confidence, my husband attached a ladder to the tree to help him focus on getting to the top of the ladder. Once he accomplished this himself, he was also getting control of his emotions.

Build Legos and Other Building Toys

Boys will grow up to be men, and with that they need to have some building skills to save money around the house. The hours of building Legos and using K'Nex or Lincoln Logs to see how things go together will benefit them when they are doing things with their own hands as an adult.

Build Model Cars

Learning to read directions at an early age may not mean that they will read directions as an adult, but it will give them the skills necessary to see how parts form a whole. Model cars are the perfect tool to do this!

Having the accomplishment of putting together a model car, with tiny increments will build patience and perseverance in their character.

Build a Fort

All little boys know the joys of building forts with blankets, but to be given the permission to use a hammer and nails, with some scrap wood from their daddy's garage is a boost of self-confidence and taking a pride in their work like you won't imagine.

I have loved to see our sons being given that option to take some few pieces of woods and see what they can come up with. The smiles that come over their face, as they step back to look at what their hands and imagination was able to do is priceless.

Whittle and Carve

Boys love knives. Moms not so much.

I love to let my boys learn to whittle and carve early with soap, and then move on with sticks before getting into a carving project. The way that they learn responsibility when they are an owner of a pocket knife is one of the simplest ways to teach it.

Learn Weapon Safety

Once a boy becomes an owner of his first pocket knife, he naturally moves on to wanting more weapons. This is the perfect time to teach weapon safety and the value of a life. Once a pocket knife is given, we progress to a sling shot and bow and arrow, before working our way up to a BB gun and an air soft gun.

Our boys learned early that we do not kill an animal unless we plan on eating it. Knowing that they grew with a compassion for animals, this was an easy lesson to teach them.

Earn, Save and Spend Their Own Money

Teach a boy the value of a dollar, and the pride of earning money through hard work is a gift any parent can give to their sons (and daughters). The worst thing we could do for our children at any age is give them everything they wanted, especially if there was no work involved to receive it.

It is really a service to your sons to learn proper money management even at a young age of 4 or 5. I have some very sweet memories of our children spending their own money at yard sales and stores, and learning how to read prices to determine if it is a good deal.

All of my children, including my 6 year old, has demonstrated good money choices. I do have a son that loves to spend, but he also knows about keeping current on his bills and saving.

Take Something Apart and Put It Back Together

Two of my three sons have been born with the natural ability to take things apart and put them back together before they could talk.

These same boys are my right hands when my husband isn't available to put new furniture together, or fix something that isn't working. I love just giving them something and seeing what they will do with it. (My daughter is gifted with this skill as well, and better than her brothers)

Accept Failure as a Learning Experience

Failure is a teacher. It should be encouraged at a young age, instead of being viewed as a lack of ability.

It is only when a person, regardless of the age, learns to accept failure as a learning experience and a stepping stone to improvement that true growth can really happen.

Without this outlook, a boy could grow to be a man who doesn't know how to deal with anything but perfection, and pass this requirement to those around him. This can harm relationships in his own family.

If you like this post, you may also like 10 Gifts for Boys

Top 10 Gifts for Boys - Perfect ideas for all year long! | www.joyinthehome.com



Learning Math with Dominos

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 - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

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:

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

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.

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

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.


The History of Chocolate

This post was sponsored by American Heritage® Chocolate.

We all love chocolate, right? Once you learn about the history of chocolate, you may love it even more. Learning about the history of chocolate as currency, medicine, drinks and indulgences in the book, Great Moments in Chocolate History has been a lot of fun and insightful that it would be a perfect way to do a unit study in your homeschool or even a wonderful gift idea for a chocolate lover.

The History of Chocolate - Learning about chocolate as currency, medicine, drinks and indulgences makes a favorite dessert more enjoyable with Great Moments in Chocolate History | www.joyinthehome.com @chochistory

The History of Chocolate

Do you know where chocolate comes from? Most people may think it is the cocoa bean, but it is actually the cacao bean. It is only through a roasting and processing that the cacao bean name is changed to cocoa. I have taken chocolate for granted, and just ‘assumed' that it has always been a part of history, but haven't considered the path it has traveled  to become the most loved dessert today. That was until I enjoyed reading the book Great Moments in Chocolate History and learned about its historical start as currency, and how valuable it was as medicine to many cultures (I would LOVE a cupboard full of this medicinal drink) and how it has found its place in the hearts of Americans, and making its place in WWII in the form of M&M's.

Imagine getting your children excited about learning about history though chocolate!

From the Aztec Empire, explores like Christopher Columbus and Cortes, King Philip II, Louis XIV, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Marie Antoinette, Amelia Earhart and many others who are mentioned in this beautifully illustrated book about the history of chocolate could serve as a fun and exciting way to learn about world history with your family in a way that children of all ages could relate with and find interesting from the beginning.

Great Moments in Chocolate History

 Mars Chocolate North America, along with partner National Geographic Society, has just released the first of two books Great Moments in Chocolate History, which is full of fun facts that will bring chocolate into names and events like never before. To complete this book, they have added 20 classic recipes from around the world that will be a perfect way to bring math learning, and cooking skills into a true unit study for world history through chocolate and its available for sale anywhere in the world.


American Heritage® Historical Chocolate Drink

Did you know that the chocolate drink was the first way that chocolate was consumed, and not only was it used to better the performance of warriors, but was a popular beverage during the colonial days and even out at sea?   American Heritage® Chocolate is an authentic historical line of product, developed from chocolate recipes in the 1750's, it is made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. With 63% cacao, it is rich, and delicious, with amazing flavors blended together that include cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange, anise and vanilla that will delight your palate.

Your whole family will love this historical drink, while learning about its history as it provides a perfect way to add some hands-on learning to your history of chocolate, and enjoy the flavor and the health benefits that have been recognized for over 500 years.


American Heritage® Historical Chocolate Block

We all use baking chocolate, or powdered chocolate in our recipes, but the American Heritage Historical Chocolate Block is not only easy to use in grating, chunking, shaving or baking but with 63% cacao, it gives such cocoa flavor that your recipes will taste amazing.

You can use this in any of the 20 recipes that are provided in the Great Moments in Chocolate History.