Teaching counting for kids can be fun and easy because you hardly need anything to teach this important math skill.
Research shows that kids who learn to count early, develop a fondness for numbers.
Moreover, their understanding of numbers as quantities serves as a foundation on which all other complex math skills such as addition and subtraction can be built easily.
In this post, I’m going to share with you 3 simple ways to teach counting for kids as well as some FREE counting printables for you to use:
- Everyday Conversations and Interactions
- Number Rhymes
- Counting Books
- BONUS: Hands-on Counting Activities + FREE Printables
1. Everyday Conversations and Interactions
Research shows that children learn best through enjoyable interactions with their primary caregivers.
So including numbers and counting in your daily conversations make it fun and natural for your child to learn to count.
So what can you do?
Just point to anything and everything in your child’s environment and count them and encourage your child to do the same.
And while counting, make sure your child points to or touches the objects as this will help your child understand that counting is nothing but ‘quantifying’—a very important knowledge to have!
Here are some examples:
“How many toes does my baby have? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – 10 toes.”
“Let’s see how many crackers you have on your plate 1 2 3 – 3 crackers.”
“That is a cool car! Let’s count how many wheels the car has! 1 2 3 4 – 4 wheels.”
Apart from pointing and touching, you can also model holding up the correct number of fingers to represent the quantity.
“How old are you? You are 1, 2 – 2 years old.”
Don’t just limit yourself to the things at home instead count the number of steps as you climb up and down the stairs, count the number of cars in the parking lot, count the number of birds in the power line.
The idea is to simply count, count, and count!
Having said that, don’t overdo it to a point where you literally wear out your child’s interest. Just remember to keep these interactions fun and carefree.
2. Number Rhymes
Another classic way to introduce counting to kids is to sing number rhymes.
Instead of just singing, if you can include toys or other manipulatives, it can make things fun and interesting for your child.
When our son was little, he had 5 rubber bath duckies and his favorite thing to do was to line them up and sing the 5 little ducks song.
Here is a list of popular number rhymes to introduce counting for kids:
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 once I got a fish alive
- One, two buckle my shoe
- 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed
- There were ten in the bed
- 5 little ducks
- 5 little speckled frog
- One potato, two potato
- The ants go marching
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- This old man he played one
- Ten green bottles
3. Counting Books
Counting books are a great way to teach counting while developing literacy skills.
The combination of pictures, stories, and numbers will certainly allure your little one to come back to these books over and over again.
Here is a list of 20 Must-Read Counting books that every child should read.
Books on Counting to 20:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- My First Book of Numbers by Eric Carle
- How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
- Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
- Click, Clack, Splish, Splash by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
- Roar by Pamela Duncan Edwards
- 20 Big Trucks in the middle of the street by Mark Lee
- Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani
- Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert
- Quack and Count by Keith Baker
Books on Counting Backward:
- On the LaunchPad by Michael Dhal
- Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland
- Ten red apples by Pat Hutchins
- Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
Books on Counting Big Numbers:
- Let us count 100! by Masayuki Sebe
- Best Counting book ever by Richard Scarry
- 1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker
You can check out my post on 20 Must-Read Counting Books for Kids to learn more about each of these books.
BONUS: Hands-on Counting Activities
Hands-on activities make learning interesting!
Here are some FREE Counting printables for you to teach counting and one-to-one correspondence in a more fun hands-on way.
I hope you found this blog post 3 Simple Ways to Teach Counting for Kids + Free Printables and the resources shared in this post helpful.
If you did, let us know in the comments below.
Would love to hear from you!
For more FREE Printables for kids, check out our Freebie’s Page!