Two Easy Counting Activities for Toddlers
Looking for a way to practice math concepts with Safari Ltd.’s Toys That Teach? In this post, I have two simple DIY counting activities you can make to play and learn with Good Luck Minis. These are both easy to make and great for building conceptual understanding of numbers. I love incorporating educational toys into math with my preschoolers! It really helps them engage when they get to play with something they love while they learn!
How To Build a Ten Frame
- Two toilet paper rolls
- Hot glue gun
- White acrylic paint and brush
- Black permanent marker
How to make a Ten Frame:
- Step 1: Cut your toilet paper rolls into ten rings, each about 1 inch thick. Line up the rings in two rows of 5 on a piece of cardboard. Hot glue the rings in place.
- Step 2: Paint your ten frame board with white acrylic paint. Once dry, use a sharpie to write the numbers 1-10 in the frame. Write the numbers 1-5 on the top row and 6-10 on the bottom row.
How to use a Ten Frame for a Counting Activity with a Toddler:
A ten frame is a wonderful tool for conceptually building and understanding the numbers 1-10. They are frequently used in kindergarten, so if you have a preschooler at home introducing them to a ten frame will really help to prepare them for school!
To play with your ten frame, call out a number 1-10 and have your child fill the frame with Good Luck Minis to build that number. Show them how to start by filling the top row and then filling the bottom row. As they build the number you can ask them questions like: “Is this number bigger or smaller than 5?” “How many more would you need to get to 10?” to encourage them to notice how the number is built.
You can extend the learning with the ten frame by having your kids draw playing cards or other numeral cards from a pile and building the number they see. This will help them with number recognition as well!
How To Make your own Counting Cards
Materials Needed for Counting Cards:
- Cardboard or thick cardstock paper
- Black permanent marker
How to Make Counting Cards for Toddlers:
To make your counting cards, cut your cardboard or thick paper into index card-sized pieces. Use your permanent marker to write the following information on each card: the numeral, the number name and draw dots to represent the number.
How to Play with Counting Cards:
These counting cards are a great tool for toddlers to learn to recognize numbers, read their names and count! My son is 3.5 and these are the perfect counting tool for someone his age.
We used Good Luck Minis to count to the numbers on each of his cards. He is still learning what the numbers look like, so he used the dots to practice counting. He covered each dot on the counting card with a Good Luck Mini and counted them out as he went. Once he finished, we looked at the number together to practice number recognition! As he played I noticed that he started sorting the Good Luck Minis, which became another great extension to his learning. He tried to find minis that matched for each card he counted with.
As he continues to learn his numbers, I can make this activity more challenging by asking him to place the cards in order. I can also cover up certain parts of each card with a piece of tape to increase the challenge. There is so much learning that can come from this simple set of cards and some toys that teach!
This post is by Emily Limer. Emily is a preschool teacher and mom of two toddlers who love to play with Safari Ltd. animals! You can follow her on Instagram @makingwithmommy for more kids craft and play ideas.
Our wildly popular Good Luck Minis® are pocket-sized tiny figures that are perfect for craft projects, event giveaways, or just keeping around for good luck! Our small animal toy fun packs will help you create your own tiny world of mini toys! Shop more here!