15 Innovative Number Games And Activities For Kindergarten Kids

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“One and two, buckle my shoe.
Three and four, shut the door.
….”

And so the nursery rhyme goes, merrily teaching numbers to little kids at school.

When your little boy or girl needs to practice math, make it an exciting activity. For before you know, they will grow up into pre-teens and teens dealing with algebra and trigonometry! So let them have a little fun with math while they can. There are many ways to teach your kids about numbers and counting early on. In this article, MomJunction lists some of the best number games for kindergarten.

Counting And Number Activities For Kindergarten

The following list has 15 easy number games and activities and games that you can try with things in your house. All you need is a little preparation, and you’re set to give the kid a numbers lesson.

1. Number Train

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Kids love trains and are fascinated by them. In this activity, we make trains with blocks, straws, tape, or anything else that can be stacked in a line to make a train. This activity works well with a group of kids.

You will need: Colored wooden blocks (different shapes), a ruler scale or tape, space to play

What to do:

The objective of the game is to stack a specific (train of three, four, or five) number of blocks horizontally on the floor, to make a train.

1. Start by demonstrating the activity. Ask the kids to pick a number under 10. Then stack as many blocks as the number they choose.
2. Next, give each child a set of blocks or make teams if you have fewer sets of building blocks.
3. Give them a number and ask them to make a train like you did. So if the number is four, they have to make a train with four blocks. If it is eight, then they use eight blocks.
4. Repeat the game as many times as you can, or until the kids get bored.

What kids learn:

Number sense and counting are the two things that kids learn with this activity.

[ Read: Math Games For Kindergarten ]

2. Find The Number And Pop A Bubble

Bubble wraps are not toys, but we love playing with them, don’t we? This activity uses bubble wrap to learn numbers and have a little fun.

Please note that bubble wrap is not a toy. Kids should not be allowed to play with bubble wraps without adult supervision.

You will need: A small sheet of bubble wrap (preferably cut in squares) – use one with larger bubbles to be able to write, a gel pen or marker

What you do:

1. Write numbers from one, two, and so on, randomly over the bubbles using a marker or a sketch pen. You can repeat some numbers if you want.
2. Now give the bubble wrap sheet to the kid. When you call out a number, the kid has to point out to the bubble with that number on it, call it out loud, and then pop it!
3. Repeat until you pop all the bubbles.

This can also be used for math practice for older kids.

What kids learn:

Number recognition

3. Number Hunt

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Number Hunt is similar to treasure hunt, except it involves small slips with numbers written on them. This innovative counting game can be a fun group game for kindergarteners.

You will need: Slips of paper or post-its, a pen

What you do:

Prepare for the hunt beforehand. Cut a sheet of paper into small pieces that you can hang with a thread. You could also use post-its instead.

1. Write a number, from one to 20, on each piece of paper. Do not repeat a number.
2. Stick the papers at different places randomly, around the house. Put them in places where the child is likely to find them.
3. Set a timer for ten minutes and ask the kid to search for all the 20 slips of paper.
4. Each time he finds one, he reads the number on it aloud.

What kids learn:

Number recognition

[ Read: Kindergarten Educational Games ]

4. Tracing numbers

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Identifying the number is the first step. The next is to be able to recreate it on paper. One of the best and most effective ways to teach that to a kid is to let them trace the numbers.

You will need: Papers or charts, marker, pencil

What you do:

1. On the paper or a chart, write the numbers you want the child to practice in a big font.
2. Give enough space between the two numbers so that the numbers do not overlap when the child traces them.

What kids learn:

Writing digits and number recognition

5. Counting with Cups

If you run out of things to count, use Styrofoam or paper cups to teach the kid about numbers. The best part is you can reuse the cups several times for the activity.

You will need: White paper cups (11), marker pen, small objects like beads, beans, or pasta (55)

What you do:

1. Number the cups from zero to 11. Make sure that the digit is visible on the surface of the cup.
2. Give the cups to the kid and ask her to arrange them in order from the smallest number to the biggest.
3. Now give her the 55 beans and ask her to see the number written on the cup and put that number of beans in the cup.
4. Once she is done putting the beans in the cup, let her empty each cup and see if she placed the right number of beans in each cup.

What kids learn:

Counting, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence

6. Paint By Number Art

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Another way to teach your little one about numbers is through painting by numbers activity. The activity needs the child to focus on the numbers and identify them correctly to get the picture right.

What you need: A painting-by-numbers template, paints or crayons to color

What you do:

1. Get two computer prints of the template – pick an easy model, an image with fewer but larger sections that a child can paint easily.
2. Sit with the child and tell him what he needs to do. Show him by coloring a numbered part of the template.
3. Ask the child to pick a number next and check for the corresponding color on the sheet.
4. Color the template fully.

What kids learn:

Number recognition and one-to-one correspondence

7. Connect The Dots

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As a kid, I loved playing connect the dots. It was the easiest puzzle in the newspaper, and I would always get it right! What I didn’t know then was that this puzzle could also be used to teach kindergarteners about number sequencing!

You will need: Sheets of paper (you can use a white or black board too), a pencil

What you do:

1. On a piece of paper, write down the numbers with a dot on top, in a random order or in a sequence, to form a shape such as a circle or a square.
3. Ask the kid to draw a line starting from number one to number two. Next, ask the child to join the numbers two and three, by extending the line he drew.
4. Continue joining the dots until all the numbers are connected, and you get the desired shape.

What kids learn:

Number sequencing

8. Count The Number of Things Inside The House

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This is a simple counting exercise that you can practice with the kid at any time.

You will need: Multiple household items that you can count such as beds, pillows, chairs, doors, etc.

What you do:

1. Make a list of things that you can ask the child to count.
2. Then ask the kid to go around the house and count the number of those items using his fingers.
3. For instance, say “I want you to count the number of windows in our house.” And then wait for the kid to count.

You can repeat with random things such as the number of red (or any other color) items, lights, books on a table, etc.

What kids learn:

Counting numbers

9. Rock Paper Numbers

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Rock paper scissors is a game we all played as kids. You can play this game with your little boy or girl today, to teach numbers and counting. We call the game Rock Paper and Numbers.

You will need: Nothing but time and energy!

What you do:

The game is a lot of fun when played with a small group of kids.

1. The game is played like rock, paper, scissors. Only that instead of rock or paper or scissors, which is just two fingers, you can show a number.
2. On the count of three, you and your child can put up as many fingers as you want.
3. Then ask the kid to count the number of fingers you are showing and how many he has.

What kids learn:

Counting

10. Counting With Dice

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A pair of dice can be great tools for teaching kids how to count. This simple activity can teach them to concentrate and count things.

You will need: A board game

What you do:

1. On a sheet of paper or chart, write the numbers from two to 12.
2. Ask the child to roll the dice and count the dots facing up and circle the number on the sheet.

What kids learn:

Counting, one-to-one correspondence

11. Count The Cars

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This is a fun outdoor game that you can play with the kid, when on a road trip. In fact, this is one of the best games to play when traveling, for it also boosts the child’s memory power.

You will need: Sit somewhere outdoors, where you can see passing cars.

What you do:

1. Ask your child to watch out for a specific colored car – red, blue, or green. Don’t choose a standard color.
2. You also pick a color and count every time you see a car in that color.
3. Ask the kid to count the total number of red/green/blue colored cars he has seen.
4. In the end, compare who has a bigger number.

What kids learn:

Counting and memory/retention

12. Number Puzzle

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A puzzle can also be used to make math fun for kids. You can get a cardboard puzzle or a wooden puzzle toy that can be used several times and by different kids (in a school).

You will need: Number puzzle (bought or made at home)

What you do:

1. Get a puzzle with numbers from one to 20.
2. Jumble the numbers and ask the child to join the pieces of the puzzle to arrange them in order.
3. You can show him how to do it with the first one or two numbers.

What kids learn:

Number sequencing, solving puzzles

13. Collect Flowers And Count

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Want the kid to go out more often and experience the beauty of nature? Take them to a garden to gather flowers. And count too.

You will need: A trip to the garden or flower market

What you do:

1. Take the kid to a market and ask her or him to pick a few flowers for the house.
2. At home, ask them to segregate the flowers – put one variety of flowers together, make separate bunches.
3. Now ask the child to count how many flowers of each variety there are.

What kids learn:

Segregation, counting

14. Hopscotch Numbers

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Hopscotch is a game that little girls like to play. You can try a simpler version (the English Cat’s Cradle version) of this game for kindergarteners, with smaller circles and squares they can easily jump on to.

You will need: Space to play outdoors – a concrete area preferably, chalk (different colors)

What you do:

1. Draw the cat’s cradle version of Hopscotch court – the numbers are written in a sequence, from one to ten.
2. Call out the number one and ask the kid to jump on the numbered square.
3. You can call the numbers in a sequence or random order, just to see if the child can identify the numbered square.

What kids learn:

Number recognition

[ Read: Kindergarten Writing Activities ]

15. Match Playing Cards

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Who says playing cards are just for adults? Kids can play with them too, to learn math.

You will need: A deck of playing cards

What you do:

1. Sort out all the cards and take out cards two to ten from all the suits.
2. From these, tape the cards of one suit on a wall, in a random order.
3. Arrange the rest of the suits on a table nearby, in order.
4. Ask the child to pick a card from the deck on the table and slap it on the matching number on the wall!

You can use tape to stick the cards together.

What kids learn:

Number recognition and one-to-one correspondence

Other fun ways to teach numbers is count fingers and toes, color numbers on printable worksheets, ask them to tell you what the numbers on your phone’s dial pad are, use music to count or sing about numbers, and so on. The options are many and would help your child learn math in a no-dreaded manner.

Tell us about your kid’s favorite counting games and activities. Share the stories in our comments section!

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