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Fun and Exciting Number Activities for Children Using Toys

Children love to play, it is what comes naturally to them. Through play, children learn, practice and make sense of the world around them. Toys are a valuable tool in helping children develop their various skills.  Gross and fine motor skills are used through manipulating the toys and moving them around, cognitive skills as children learn how to stack and balance certain toys, and figure out which pieces go together, language and social emotional development occurs when they indulge in role playing or dramatic play and when they interact with their friends when playing.

In most houses, you will find a common set of toys that children play with, these include balls of various sizes, blocks, rings, some dolls, stacking and sorting toys, figurines or action figures, stuffed toys, plastic animals, puzzles, an assortment of vehicles or maybe even a train set to name a few.

Using toys to sneak in some math concepts is a fun way to bring about child-led indirect learning. Your child will soon master these concepts just by repeatedly playing with these toys. Try out these few number activities for children to begin with, which will help their learning about numbers and their values using just their toys.

  • Stacking toys –
    Stacking toys come in various shapes and are self-correcting, it has to be stacked in a particular order that is from big to small, to get it right. So these are ideal to teach children the correct sequence of numbers. You can make cutouts of numbers from 1 to 10, the size of which would correspond to the size of the toy. Since your child is learning numbers for the first time make sure that the numbers are clearly visible. Stick them in order starting with 1 for the biggest size and so on reaching 10 for the smallest sized toy to be stacked.

  • Build a number tower- Once they get the hang of stacking numbers in the right order you can make the activity challenging for them by giving them numbered blocks (as shown above)  of the same size to stack. Later move on to numbered train bogies or numbered cars for them to arrange in serial order. The cars or train bogies would have to be arranged from left to right in serial order.(refer below)
  • Number Value Blocks – Another example of teaching number sense to children is to teach the children numbers along with their values. Use picture cards as shown in the image above, cut them up keeping the number and the images together. You can do the previous activity with these cards to begin with, while periodically teaching your child to count the picture alongside the numbers.

    Once they get a hang of this activity, you can make this number activity for children more exciting by cutting up each card into two – separating the numbers from their pictures. Keep both face up and allow them to match the pairs.

  • Match the pairs – Use ready-made lacing boards ( or you can make one at home) like the ones shown below, stick the number on one side and its value on the other side, and let them match the pairs, you can keep things interesting by even mixing up the pairs after sometime and let them find the right match.
  • Roll a dice – This number activity for preschoolers is simple enough to do anywhere and it helps in revising numbers and values. You can use 1 or 2 dice (your child may need help with values more than 10) and the number cards made earlier. Roll the dice, let your child count and tell you the number and then pick up the right number card.
  • Play a game of dominos- In this number activity for children, they have to simply count the number of dots on any one side of the domino and match it to another domino side with a similar number of dots. (You can refer to the image above)
  • Play a game of cards – Family game nights with a pack of UNO cards or even a regular deck of cards can bring about loads of fun and help strengthen number sense in young children. Games like matching the number pairs are good to begin with, just remember to remove the higher value cards before you begin. You could also flash a card and everyone has to display that many fingers, or quickly gather that many beads, blocks, or ice-cream sticks. Take a few pairs of number cards and place them face down randomly and play a game of memory in which you have to turn over random cards and find two matching pairs.
  • Connect the blocks- Another number sense activity for children makes use of connecting blocks. Once you feel your child is comfortable with numbers and their values you can stick numbers on a few blocks and they have to build towers with those many blocks as shown in the image.

Learning about numbers need not be boring. There are loads of number recognition games and number-based activities that can be done with preschoolers and little children using just their toys and everyday objects. You just have to input your mind to it..

At EuroKids, we believe that learning should be enjoyable and have noticed that children engage in activities longer if they are self-directed. Self-directed activities give the child a chance to be independent and to learn at their own pace. Click here to find a center closest to you and take a look at how children learn about numbers in fun and exciting ways.

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