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20 Ways To Teach Counting To Preschoolers

May 4, 2021

You know that when your child starts going to school, the teachers are going to cover all kinds of learning, right from the alphabet and numbers, to shapes and colors, to spelling and counting. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to get a few things started with your child before they head to preschool. For instance, you don’t have to wait for educators to teach the child numbers and counting. You can teach counting to preschoolers when they are as young as 18 months. We’ve got some activities that you can try out at home. Let’s take a look.


Count Out Loud

To teach counting to preschoolers, the first step is always to shout the numbers out loud whenever you’ll are doing something repetitive. It can be as simple as having lunch. When you’re feeding your child, with each morsel you can shout out a number. The kid will probably not know what’s going on, but their mind will begin to grasp a sequence.

Make Them Count

Once they start piecing together what these random words are, they will figure out it has something to do with quantity. They’ve heard you say one, two, three many times, so now it’s time to make them repeat it. When they are playing with their toys, ask them to number them with you. One doll, two dolls, three dolls, etc. The same can be done all around the house with chocolates, fruits, crayons, and pebbles, among other things.

Instant Lessons

You can always ask them to number things on the go. When you’re taking a walk in the park, ask them to count the number of trees, or when you’re in the car, you can ask them to count the number of trucks passing by. Don’t be disheartened if they are unable to count quickly or if they miss out on remembering a few numbers. It’s normal for them to take their time. This exercise is only to help sharpen their minds.

Activity Books

This never gets old. There are so many activity books available that will help your child grasp numbers and counting. They are filled with colorful images of objects, animals, and flowers. All the child has to do is have fun counting them. As they get older, you can move on to advanced activity books to better their fine motor skills.

Fun Walls

You can make the room fun by having some fun drawings on the wall. Each wall can have many paintings of animals, birds, trees, or anything else that you think your child is fond of. Every day, you can have a fun activity by asking them how many trees or animals are on the walls. This will help them learn numbers faster.

counting activities for toddlers

Fun Table Mat

It’s common knowledge that kids have a very short attention span, and parents will vouch for the fact that getting them to stay in one place while eating is a menace. A modern solution to this is to buy or make a bunch of fun table mats for them. When they are at the dining table, you can occupy them with this. These mats are just like activity books with fun images that need counting.

Action Songs

Classic children’s songs like “three blind mice” and “1, 2, 3 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive” will never go out of style. You can sing it with them or play the video for them and make them sing along. Along with these songs being super fun, they’ll also be grasping and retaining the order of numbers.

Educational Videos

If you’re running out of ideas, simply search online for some videos that will help your child learn numbers. There are many learning clips available related to counting activities for preschoolers, where the host engages the child in several activities related to counting.

Do-It-Yourself Activities

There are many counting activities for toddlers, many of which are DIY activities. Whether it’s making jewelry with pasta or creating a button mural for the wall, your child will thoroughly enjoy making something for themselves without realizing how much their minds are retaining in the process. Don’t forget to keep counting the materials as and when you’re putting them together with your kid.


The abacus, better known as the counting tool, is something that you can consider buying for your toddler when you want to teach counting to preschoolers. All you have to do is put all the beads to one side and make them move the beads one at a time while counting them.

counting activities for toddlers

Sports Activities

Almost all sports have some kind of counting in them. Whether you’re scoring runs in cricket, goals in football, or a simple race in the backyard. You could play catch with your toddler and keep shouting out the count every time he throws the ball to you. This is a great way of teaching number recognition to preschoolers.

Building Blocks

Legos have been around for ages. Children can sit for hours with building blocks creating all of their favorite things. Take some time to play this with your child and get them into the habit of counting the pieces as and when they put them together. Kids can start from 1 and go up to 10, and then go back to 1 again. You can add more numbers to the activity as they get older.

Play Dough

A messy but fun activity that is highly enjoyable for kids, playdough comes with all kinds of benefits. When you’re done, you ball it up again, only to begin again the next day. Make them form the shape of the numbers with the play dough and recite the numbers. You can pick 3 or 5 numbers every day to perform this exercise.

Fun with Food

If you think about it, learning to count is an activity that can be conducted anywhere. One fun way is to give the child a box of cookies and ask them to distribute to all the members in the house. Teach them to count while distributing – one for dad, one for mom, and one for Timmy. Later, you can ask them how many in total were given to the family.

Candles on the Cake!

How can we not add this to the list! The one thing that kids love to count is the number of candles on a cake. Whether it’s your child’s birthday or their friend’s birthday, you can always ask them to count the candles on a birthday cake and they’ll be happy to do it.

counting activities for toddlers


Here’s another classic game that doesn’t cost a thing. All you need is some chalk. Draw out the hopscotch grid in your backyard or the playground and have all the kids come and play the game. The numbers are written on each block, so it’s an excellent activity to learn to count. It’s among the great counting strategies for kindergarten.

Animal Kingdom

Children are fascinated by animals. You can use this fact to teach them about animals and numbers. For example, the snake has zero legs, the chicken has two legs, and the horse has four legs. At least when it comes to the number of limbs, you can use animals to your advantage when you want to get the kids to learn to count.

Get Coloring

There are activity books that have colors corresponding to numbers. For example, one is yellow, two is red, three is blue, etc. Now, kids love to color, and through this activity, they will register numbers as well. So, if you’re wondering how to teach counting to toddlers, this is a smart way to do it. You can make these activities yourself on paper and number each section.


This may seem strange, but you can use the activity of storytelling to teach kids how to count. You can begin the story with a line and ask the child to continue. The whole family can play together. You can decide at the beginning that the story needs 10 sentences. You start by saying “one – once upon a time, there lived a queen in a castle”, post which everyone continues one at a time with the following sentences. Your child will retain the order of numbers through this activity.

Guess the Number

When you wonder how to teach the concept of counting to your kids, keep a bunch of things around the house – 5 carrots, 3 dolls, 7 crayons, etc. Now go around the house with your child and point out to every cluster and let them answer. It’s an enjoyable activity for the child that will allow them to build on their fine motor skills and memory.

With all these activities, your child will learn to count in no time. A child’s brain starts developing at a very early age and you’ll be surprised at how much they can grasp and retain between the ages of 2 and 4. And so, before you send them off to school, you can begin all these fun learnings at home.


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