16 Innovative Number Games And Activities For Kindergarten Kids

check_icon Research-backed

Learning numbers can be challenging for many children. However, children learn better when they are taught through play and rhymes. So, we have compiled some number games for kindergarten kids that can help children get acquainted with maths, counting, and numbers.

Playing along to number-based nursery rhymes like “One, two, buckle my shoe…” and “Five little speckled frogs” would make any toddler sing along and have fun while learning. We have included ways you can help children learn their numbers better without getting nervous. So, read on to find out more about number-based learning games that will encourage problem-solving in your child.

In This Article

Counting And Number Activities For Kindergarten

The following list has 15 easy number games and activities 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 so they understand basic mathematical logic.

1. Number train

Image: IStock

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.

What kids learn:

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

protip_icon Quick tip
If the kid understands odd and even numbers, ask them to make a train with those numbers. For example, you can ask them to make a train with three odd numbers or four even numbers.

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 your child. When you call out a number, the child has to point 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

protip_icon Point to consider
If the children know simple single number addition, ask them to pop the bubble showing the answer to an addition problem such as 3+4 or 2+5.

Free Worksheets and Printables for Kids

3. Number hunt

Image: Shutterstock

Number Hunt is similar to a treasure hunt, except it involves small slips with numbers written on them. This is one of those innovative counting games that 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.

Number hunt activity can be played outdoors as well. It makes the children more interested in the game. According to Claire, a mother of two and a blogger, ”I picked up a set of 10 large foam hearts thinking they would be good for a Valentine’s Day activity. My own preschooler is showing an interest in numbers so I decided to write the numbers 1 to 10 on the hearts. I then hid the hearts around our garden and asked my daughter to find them for me. I asked her to tell me what each number was. If she got it wrong or didn’t know, then I told her. Together we counted them and also put them into the correct order. Once she had found all the hearts I hid them again and we repeated the activity. Then she decided she wanted to hide the numbers for me to find. She loved hiding the numbers almost as much as she enjoyed finding them (i).”

What kids learn:

Number recognition

protip_icon Quick tip
You can schedule a match between two kids to test their number recognition abilities. The one who wins can get a prize and encourage other kids to work hard.

4. Tracing numbers

Image: Shutterstock

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

protip_icon Do remember
After the child traces one number, ask them casually what number comes next or before it. It will make you gauge how familiar they are with counting.

5. Counting with cups

If you run out of things to count, use StyrofoamiXA solid plastic material often used as packaging material or paper cups to teach 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 your child and ask to arrange them in order from the smallest number to the biggest.
  3. Now give them the 55 beans and ask them to locate the number written on each cup and put that number of beans in the cup.
  4. Once your child is done putting the beans in the cup, let them empty each cup and see if they 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

Image: Shutterstock

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 they need to do. Show them 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

7. Connect the dots

Image: IStock

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.
  2. You can also download connect-the-dot exercise templates as well.
  3. Ask your child to draw a line starting from number one to number two. Next, ask your child to join the numbers two and three, by extending the line they drew.
  4. Continue joining the dots until all the numbers are connected, and you get the desired shape.

What kids learn:

Number sequencing, number recognition, fine motor practice making lines

8. Count the number of things inside the house

Image: IStock

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 your child to count.
  2. Then ask the kid to go around the house and count the number of those items using their 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, rote countingiXAn infant’s ability to correctly remember and recite the numbers in a correct sequence , one to one correspondence

9. Rock paper numbers

Image: IStock

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:

SubitizingiXThe ability to recognize the number of objects in a set simply by looking at it and not by counting , one-to-one correspondence

10. Counting with dice

Image: IStock

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

Image: Shutterstock

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 while helping them grasp basic arithmetic.

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, color recognition, comparison of less and greater, and memory/retention

12. Number puzzle

Image: IStock

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, number recognition

13. Collect flowers and count

Image: Shutterstock

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 your child to a market and ask them to pick a few flowers for the house.
  2. At home, ask them to sort the flowers – put one variety of flowers together, make separate bunches.
  3. Now ask your child to count how many flowers of each variety there are.

What kids learn:

Sorting, counting

14. Hopscotch numbers

Image: IStock

Hopscotch is a game that little children 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 your kid to jump on the numbered square.
  3. You can call the numbers in a sequence or random order, just to see if your child can identify the numbered square.

What kids learn:

Number recognition

15. Match playing cards

Image: Shutterstock

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 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

16. Snakes and ladders game

Snakes and ladders game
share button

Image: Shutterstock

The snakes and ladders game is a great way to teach children to count numbers. This classic name can engage kids in learning while having fun.
You will need: Snakes and ladders board, a dice

What you do:

1. The snake and ladder board game consists of numbers marked from 1-100, arranged in sequence. Ask your child to roll a die and move the indicated number of spaces (one to six).
2. Ladders provide an upward advantage, allowing players to ascend to a higher space. If your child lands on the top of a snake, they should slide down to the bottom of it. The goal is to reach the final number of 100 on the board before the opponent player.

What kids learn:

Number recognition, number counting

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are pre-number activities?

Pre-number activities are introduced to children before they are introduced to actual numbers and related activities. These help children learn about the basics of numbers and have fun through different tasks.

2. What are numeracy activities?

Numeracy activities help children understand the basics of mathematics and also allow them to apply these skills in the various domains of life. A few basic numeracy skills include (1):

  • Understanding problems with numbers
  • Learning addition and subtraction
  • Identifying patterns
  • Counting objects

3. What is number sense in kindergarten?

Number sense refers to one’s ability to perform basic operations with numbers and also includes a sense of flexibility and fluidity with numbers. Number sense also refers to the understanding of numbers’ relationship with one another. For example, knowing that one number is more or less than another.

Although children entering kindergarten do not usually possess this skill, they can identify small groups of numbers without counting (also known as subitizing), which can be considered a prerequisite for number sense.

Number games for kindergarten kids are an exciting way to teach them about numbers and counting. Math games such as number hunt, painting by numbers, and counting flowers are fascinating ways to keep your child engaged and improve their counting and number sense. You could also join in and help them understand the concepts better as you play and bond.

Infographic: How To Teach Numbers To Kindergarten Children

Combining play with learning makes the lessons more interesting, easy, and understandable for children, especially the young ones. So, look at the infographic below for fun activities and games to teach numbers to your kindergartner. Share it with other parents too!

creative ways to teach numbers to kindergarteners (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Teaching children about counting, arranging, and identifying numbers can be fun through various activities.
  • Engaging ways for children to learn numbers include counting objects, sorting and matching, and playing games like rock-paper numbers and number train.
  • Creative household objects like bubble wrap, food, toys, and garden flowers can also be used to teach numbers.
  • These activities not only teach numbers but also help develop other skills such as fine motor skills and color recognition.
number games for kindergarten kids_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Explore the joy of learning and counting numbers with these fun and engaging ESL number and counting games! Perfect for kids and adults alike, these games will help you master numbers in no time!

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Numeracy and math skills – babies and toddlers; Raising Children
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.