Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Counting Activites for 3/4 year olds

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

This is a counting activity for 3/4 year olds. Insha'Allaah, when/if I am able to post about lesson planning I will refer back to this post when discussing the topic of checking to make sure you have the materials you need ...ahead of time. This activity was an important reminder to self to always check to make sure your stock of paper has not been exhausted and the only colour paper you have left This oversight set the tone (colour wise) for the math activities and trying to move it away from pink was....interesting. Imagine trying to explain to your male students why the math centre activities are pink *smile*.

Using the book of buttons and number cards (numbers 10 - 20), students practice matching the number card that shows how many buttons are on the page and also reinforce their knowledge of the sequential order of the numbers 10-20.

Students count the number of buttons on each page and then find the card that shows the correct amount.

They place the correct card in the white pocket on the opposite page.

Extension activities for the button book and number cards:

1. Using Painting Tape/Masking Tape, make a number line on your classroom/home floor. Write the numbers 10-20 on the tape (each number evenly spaced). Invite children to match the cards to the numbers on the number line.

2. Early graphing skills activity: Gather various small/child safe objects and place one object beneath each number on the number line. Giving each child a turn, ask the child to go to a certain number and tell you what object they find at the number you said. (This also falls under the preK/kindergarten strand: listens to and follows simple directions).

3. Pair work: Take the button book apart. Place each of the pages around the classroom (on your circle time rug for example). Invite the children to go to a card, count the buttons and put their card on the correct number. The self-correcting element is: if a child has counted the buttons incorrectly and placed his/her card on the wrong number when the second child has a card with that number and he/she tries to correctly place it, he/she will already find a card in the spot and this will alert the child who misplaced the card to his/her error.

4. Small Group Gross Motor Skill Activity: Using the number line, have the children line up behind the number 10. The teacher/parent will say "Go!" and the child skips, walks fast, tip-toes, etc. until the teacher calls "Stop!". The child must stop and tell the class which number he/she is standing on. If he/she correctly informs the class, the teacher gives him/her the corresponding number card and the child returns to the end of the line. Play continues this way until the teacher has no more cards left to hand out. The child who has the most cards gets to be the next caller (i.e. the one who says, Go! and Stop!).

Your students/children may also enoy playing a game of Button in the Box.

The game (and the rules) pictured was modified for group play.

You can also invite children to do a cupcake worksheet using buttons.

A sample of a child's completed work
This activity helps children continuing learning to count from 10-20 (in order) and it is also a fine motor skill activity. The children cut out the numbered cup cakes and then match them to the numbered cupcakes on the worksheet. When done, and the teacher/assistant/parent has checked and verified their work, the students are each given 11 buttons and glue. They are then invited to glue a button on to the top of each cupcake (as if they were cherries). 

When you are moving about the room, aside from making sure that no student is putting any buttons in his/her mouth, you can note each child's skill with picking up the buttons using the pincer grasp. This may help you identify children who may need more practice in this area. You also have the opportunity to listen to students counting to themselves as they work to get the cupcakes in the right order. You may very likely hear students counting to themselves: some start from the beginning (i.e. the number 10) each time they have to place the next cupcake in the sequence and count on aloud; others start from the beginning and count on silently but you see their finger moving from cupcake to cupcake as they count in their minds; some may surprise you and already have developed the skill of counting on! (i.e. they have 8 cupcakes placed already so they are at number 17 and should place the number 18 next). You may see this student look at the number 16 and then say aloud "16, 17....18" and then place the number 18 on the page, instead of starting over at number 10. Others may just place the cupcakes randomly as they pick them up (i..e they are in the correct order in the end but they did not glue 10 first, 11 next, 12 after and so on). When they picked up 18 they glued it to the page and if they picked up 11 next they glued it to the page. You may also have a few students who have glued their numbers in random order and out of sequence. This lets you know that these students may benefit from a mini-lesson to help them in their journey of learning to count the numbers 10-20 in sequential order. 

Students can also complete a puzzle that reinforces sequential counting for the numbers 10-20. 

This button puzzle has control of error built in to it in the following manner: When children have completed the puzzle they can look at the bottom right hand corner of each puzzle piece and look at the numbers there. If the numbers are in the correct order -starting from the number 10 - they know they have put the puzzle together correctly. If not, the numbers assist them in assembling the puzzle correctly insha'Allaah.

Enjoy insha'Allaah!


  1. Assalaamu alaikum ukhti :)

    Love love love this! It's such fun masha Allah. I am out of ink at the moment but am sure to try this as soon as I get some insha Allah. You are an inspiration masha Allah.

    Oh Ukhti, I have been posting links to your blog on Pintest, I hope more sisters get to benefit from your work, they will come straight to your blog if they want the file insha Allah. Please let me know if you don't want me to.

    Jazzakillahu khair :)

    Umm Imaan

  2. Assalaamu Alaikum
    Masha Allaah wonderful. We can make use of this idea for bigger numbers as well Insha Allaah. Looks fun! Jazzakillaah Khayr Ukhtee!

  3. Bismillaah

    As Salaamu Alaiki

    I love this so much I cannot wait to sit down and TRY to do the same thing Mashaa'Allaah. Such a lovely idea- I could do one both in Arabic and English Inshaa'Allaah. I don't have any buttons so perhaps I gotta get innovative :)
    Lol I love the pink - I got enough girls to have a little love in my heart for the color :)

  4. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullaah

    @homeschoolmoments: Jazakillaahu khayr dear sis Umm Imaan for your comment *smile*. Insha'Allaah, your children will enjoy these activities.

    I have heard of Pinterest. Is this easy to use? Do you find it beneficial? Does it help with lesson planning/crafting ideas?

    Jazakillaahu Khayr again dear sis.

    @Umm Maimoonah: Jazakillaahu Khayr dear sis. These type of activities are usually enjoyed very much by children b/c they get to move around and run,jump and play *smile*. It is also wonderful that they learn the number easily with activities such as these....alhamdulillaah.

    @Umm Suhailah: Pink...I actually thought about your girls when I finished getting the book and cards together *smile*. I remembered that they have an affection for the colour *smile*. Please pass them my salams insha'Allaah.

    No buttons? If you have stickers that can work too insha'Allaah. I'll try to think of other things you can use in place of buttons insha'Allaah *smile*.

    Yes, masha'Allaah, you can do this in English and Arabic. Barak Allaahu feki.

  5. Assalaamu alaikum, I really find Pinterest to be so beneficial in finding creative and fun ways to teach my girls alhamdulillah. I am an avid DIYer and make as much of my resources as I can and it definitely helps.

    Yes it is easy too :)

    Fee Amaanillah
    Umm Imaan


In an effort to reduce the amount of spam comments left on the blog, Anonymous posting has been disabled. Insha'Allaah, this will not be inconvenient to any of the readers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...