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16 Easy Counting Games for Preschool and Kindergarten Kids

The best way for young children to build early maths skills is through hands-on activities and games that are interactive.

Develop your kids’ concept of numbers and basic counting skills with these simple counting games:

1. Number Hunt

Practice number recognition by hiding number cards (with numbers 1 to 10) around the room or class, and having children search for them. Once the group have found all the numbers, they need to place them into the correct order.

2. Number Statues

A fun way to learn to count is to play a variation of the game Musical Statues. Draw large numbers (1 to 10) on the pavement, or use large sheets of paper, with a number written on each one. 

Children dance while the music plays, and when it stops, they all find the number that is called out and stand huddled together on it. Call them in order, from 1 to 10, but position the numbers randomly on the ground. 

3. Number Bingo

Play a simple bingo game with numbers and counters. Call out numbers, and the kids can cover the corresponding numbers on their bingo card. Hold up cards with the numbers as you call them out, or write them on the board, to help kids with number recognition.

Bingo cards with numbers

4. Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt is always a fun activity for kids. Create a simple treasure map with numbers marking the locations of “hidden treasures”. The children can follow the map and find the treasures, in numerical order. 

5. Bean Bag Toss

Use five containers, hula hoops or laundry baskets and label them with large numbers. Kids can take turns aiming and throwing beanbags and claiming the corresponding number of points allocated. 

To make this activity more concrete, use a container of tokens or counters as the points, and get children to physically count out how many points they are taking, collecting their points until the end of the rounds.  

6. Duck, Duck, Goose

Play a game of Duck, Duck, Goose with a twist. Instead of calling out duck, duck, goose, call the numbers in the correct order while tapping children one at a time on their heads: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… goose!” The person who is on can decide who to nominate as goose.

This game is great for teaching the concept of one-to-one correspondence – one number is assigned to one person, one at a time.

7. Broken Telephone

Broken Telephone is another classic game that can be turned into a fun counting game. Get kids to sit in a circle and whisper the numbers in order, each child increasing the number by 1. When the last child shouts out the final number, go back and count the children to see if the number is correct. 

8. Number Hopscotch

Hopscotch is another perfect game for practising counting skills. Draw the squares out and encourage kids to shout out the numbers as they hop onto the squares. 

Little girl playing hopscotch

You could play the game with younger children by focusing just on counting and not on throwing down a stone and hopping over it. 

9. Hide and Seek

For this variation of Hide and Seek, hide toys or household items but tell children how many of each to find. Make a visual aid on paper or a whiteboard that tells children the number of objects that are hidden. For example, they need to find 1 ball, 2 bunnies, 3 spoons, 4 beanbags and 5 toy cars.

10. Number Splat

This game is messy and lots of fun. On a large sheet of paper stuck to a wall, write the numbers out (multiples of each number up to 10). Give kids paintbrushes and some paint in pots. 

Then, call out the numbers, in order, and let kids splat the numbers with paint. In other words, you call “one” and they cover all the ones they see in paint, then you call “two” and they cover all the twos, etc.

As an alternative, they could also be asked to trace over the numbers with paint as they are called out, to help them learn number formation.

11. Board Game

Almost any board game played with a dice would work as a counting game. Look for some easier board games for preschoolers.

Kids can roll the dice and move their game pieces forward the number of spaces shown on the dice, counting aloud one space at a time. This is best played in small groups.

12. Number Memory Game

Create a memory game with pairs of number cards, with one card showing a number and the other showing the corresponding number of objects. Kids can match the pairs while practising counting.

13. Number Fishing

Create a fishing game with numbered fish, attached to paper clips, and a simple wooden rod with a magnet at the end. Kids can “fish” for a specific number or a sequence of numbers. 

14. Parking Cars

Parking cars is a fun number recognition game. Create parking garages out of boxes and label them 1 to 5 (or 10 for older children). Label toy cars and kids can have fun racing their cars and parking in the garage with the corresponding number. 

15. Play Dominoes

Teach kids to play a simple game of dominoes as fun counting practice. They can play in pairs, laying one tile down at a time, making sure to count and match the number of dots on the tiles. 

16. Number Line Game

Create a number line on the floor using masking tape. Have the children hop or jump to specific numbers as you call them out. This game combines physical activity with teaching number sequence.

I hope you’ll enjoy trying these counting games that are designed to make counting more interactive and game-oriented for preschoolers, providing an enjoyable way to reinforce their counting skills and number sense.

Girl playing hopscotch. Text reads, "16 super fun counting games for kids to enjoy."

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Gulyora

Wednesday 5th of June 2024

Hi Tanja Mcillroy I am writing you to show my appreciation to your emails on fun activities for preschool learners. Thank you for your kind sharing

Best regards Gulyora

Tanja McIlroy

Wednesday 5th of June 2024

Thanks for your kind words, Gulyora! You're very welcome.

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