Every time before E. goes to sleep we have this conversation (either in English or in Hungarian):
E.: – Mommy, numbers.
M.: – Which numbers?
E.: – The little numbers.
M.: – 1, 2, 3, …
E.: – No, Mommy. Zero….
M.: – Oh, yes, sorry. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
E.: – Now the big numbers.
M.: – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90
E.: – Hundreeeed (giggles)
She is so fascinated by numbers that at the age of 18 months she could read the numbers on her baby bottle from 10 to 280.
Let’s see some number games we play.
First of all, our favourite number songs:
The bottle top calculator is just as much fun as pushing the buttons on a real calculator.
I found a quite difficult number task on www.firstgradebrain.com. (I just checked the link recently and it’s not there anymore. Sorry. I’ve put it on my to-do-list to make an activity like this) What comes between? This task is more for 4-5 year old kids, but we gave it a try. I printed the sheets laminated them and at first I just put one task in front of her with 3 possible options that can come between the two numbers.
|Easy-peasy lemon squeezy|
Much to my surprise it wasn’t very difficult for her. We did two more of this task then she started to order the numbers. All by herself.
There is nothing more to add 🙂
Ordering the numbers – Making big numbers
I printed the numbers from 1 to 10 in two copies. I coloured and laminated them and the fun could begin.
First, I put them in order, then she matched the other set.
We played a memory game with them. (There are ladybird stickers on one side of the cards so that you can’t see what is on the back)
|I’ve found a match|
With these numbers, A., our British nanny, played another game. She and E. made big numbers putting the numbers next to each other.
And some basic additions.
Watermelon seeds counting game
I used the watermelon seeds counting idea on Toddler Approved! which I really like following as they have great and easy-to-make ideas.
So I just made the watermelon slices out of a green foam sheet, a white and a red sheet. I glued the different coloured paper on top of each other.
|Turning the slices right side up|
On the back of the slices there are the numbers written. (the slices deliberately grow in size from 1 to 10 so there is more room for the seeds and in this way we can put the slices in growing order.)
I picked raisins instead of the chocolate chips recommended in the Toddler Approved blog post. Healthier and they do not leave a mark. I put them in a box and the counting started.
|One raisin rolled down|
We can do many other things with the watermelon slices:
- put them in order according to the numbers (or backwards)
|This is four, Mommy|
- order them according to their sizes
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 …
- throw a lot of raisins on a slice and eat up all the “seeds” that are not necessary in order to have the number of seeds on the slice as written on the back
- explain how to eat up all the raisins to someone who does not know this game
Number stickers – Helping Little Mole build a house
I drew a brick wall and Little Mole’s head on a sheet of paper. Some bricks had the numbers on them from 0-10. On rectangle shaped empty stickers I wrote the numbers from 0-10. E. had to build the wall putting the stickers in the right places, on the matching number. She filled the empty bricks with empty stickers. (Sorry about these photos, they were taken by my mobile.)
(You can buy these stickers at a “one euro shop” – well, in Hungary at the Chinese markets or shops)
This idea has endless varieties: with the ABC, with big numbers, matching animals, clothes, everyday objects, playing with the colours, copying patterns etc. If you have any idea how to expand this game share it with me in the comments.
Books – some fun books to finish with
Dora the Explorer – A Birthday for Boots (By Scholastic)
In this Dora book, she and her friends buy some goody bags for Boots’ birthday party, but Swiper always takes away one every page.
I bought this book when E was just 1 year old and she loved looking at the pictures. You can talk about a lot of things in the pictures. There can be a lot of counting (goody bags, candle sticks, balloons etc.) but also naming objects connected to a birthday party.
My very first book of numbers by Eric Carl
This book is divided in two parts horizontally and your child needs to find and match the fruits in the bottom part with the numbers (written in numerals and also represented with black squares). As E. has passed two years old, she doesn’t need help, but around last Christmas when she got this book she needed help with the page turning and matching.
Flip me! Counting 1-10 (By Buster Books) You can read the full review of it here. I’m quoting just the essential part of it:
“Counting 1-10 has pages divided into two panels, which kids can rearrange to match. One side has photographs of objects to count <dolls, dinosaurs, sand toys, cars etc.>, along with words identifying the number and name of the object; the other side shows the numerals from 1-10.”
Once we took this flip book on a longer car journey. While she was looking at it, E. threw up. Use it some other places. It’s quite nice.
As numbers and counting are in E’s focus, I’ll come back with some more number games in the near future.