Free learning activities for toddlers: Learning numbers
Free and easy learning activities to stimulate number learning in toddlers.
Teaching your toddler the numbers doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. There are things all around your home that you can use to help familiarize your toddler with numbers. With a little imagination, every day can be filled with activities to help your toddler understand numbers and quantities.
Steal a page from Sesame Street and pick a number of the day. All day long, use that number – cut a sandwich into that many pieces, eat that many slices of apples, clap when you see that number appear on a digital clock. Make up games with the number, such as jump that many times, spin that many times, pick up that many blocks or balls. Count up to that number when you are walking, and then start over again at 1.
Make your own number flash cards. Take blank index cards, and write a number 1-10 on each card. Then, help your toddler decorate the cards with the right number of stickers. Make two sets of cards, and ask your toddler to match the numbers. You can also play a memory game with the cards.
Count everything! The chimes of a clock, the number of stairs, how many cars drive past, how many dogs you see on a walk. By counting out loud, you bring your toddler’s attention to the concept behind the number.
Use snack size bags of chocolate candies or fruit candies (like M&M’s or Skittles) to count out how many of each color candy you find inside. You can even graph the numbers with crayons that coordinate to the color of the candy. The best part, of course, is eating the candy afterwards!
Look for simple computer programs that introduce the concepts of numbers at an age appropriate level. Bright graphics and music make learning the numbers entertaining for your toddler.
Use sidewalk chalk to help your toddler learn numbers outside. Draw large circles for your toddler on the pavement. Write a number inside each circle. Then, work with your toddler to put the right number of rocks inside each circle.
Use water to help refine the concept of numbers. You will need a smaller cup and a larger bowl. Fill the cup with water. Count how many cups of water you need to fill the bowl.
Use a deck of playing cards to match numbers. Remove the face cards from the deck. Now ask your toddler to find all of the cards with each number on them, i.e., find all the cards with 5 things on them. Help your toddler put them into piles, and arrange the piles from 1 (ace) to 9.
Remember to let your toddler lead you in exploring numbers. You don’t want to cause your child to be frustrated or confused by pushing a concept he or she is not ready for. If they seem irritated or discouraged, back off, and let them work at their own pace. They will be ready to learn their numbers soon.