1. How high can you count?

There is an opportunity for counting all around us!

Countdowns: to fun events, to the last day of school, the start of a race

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… 0…

Counting: the number of place settings at a table, counting toys, counting halloween candy, counting beats and measures of music, counting paper hearts on windows

1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. 9.. 10..

One of the big ways parents and caregivers tend to use counting is when we count down, giving our kids a chance to make a better choice before being sent to timeout or before a loss of a privilege. It’s no wonder kids have such a negative attitude towards counting.

If anything positive is directly correlated to a negative, the positive will become a negative. Counting (positive) linked with timeouts and loss of privilege (negative) will make counting feel negative.

The Teacher Mama

So what can we do? What can I do?

I have wrestled with these questions for many years. Sometimes I just absolutely need to pull out the “countdown, timeout” card. It just needs to happen. So how do I counteract the negativity around counting so my kids don’t connect counting with timeouts or negative feelings, BUT INSTEAD connect counting to a passing of time and a tool?

When our kids are babies and toddlers we count toes, we count fingers. We count with goofy smiles and tickle our sweet babies pudgy toes.

I don’t suggest we tickle our elementary aged and older’s toes. But we can make counting fun in age appropriate ways.

What number should my child be able to count to?

The following are a minimum. At any point if a child can count higher than what is on the list that is wonderful and helpful! But please don’t stop practicing counting.

  • 2-3 year olds count to and from 3
  • 2-4 year olds count to and from 5
  • 4-5 year olds count to and from 10
  • Kindergarteners count to and from 31
  • 1st graders count to and from 120
  • 2nd graders count within 1000
  • 3rd graders and up masters of counting

So what are those fun ways to practice counting?

Well – let me tell you. There is a lot. There are books to read, video’s to watch, as well as games and activities to get our kids bodies moving. Sidenote: the books below are affiliate links. You can buy the books on amazon and I will receive a small commission when you use the below links to buy the books.

Counting Books

Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

My kids and past kindergarten classes have loved this book! In fact this book was rarely left alone during our math reading center.

Ten Little Ladybugs

We are on our second copy of this book! My kids absolutely love this book. They love the rhythm and the 3D ladybugs.

Five Little Monkeys

A birth through kindergarten favorite!

How Many Snails

This book counts beyond 20! A good one for kindergarten and above.

Youtube Videos

There are so many good counting video’s out there! I am partial to the counting video’s Jack Hartmann puts out there. He always includes movement!

Jack Hartmann has a many counting video’s on his channel. Check them out! This is a fun one when you can’t go outside or kids need a quick brain break.

Games and Activities

There are so many reasons or opportunities to use counting. Here are some of our favorites!

  • brushing teeth or using mouthwash – I count while they do their job. They bounce each time I say a number
  • Counting how long it takes for them to walk, run, walk backwards, etc from point A to point B
  • While doing a physical activity.
    • “Let’s run in place until we count to 100. Say a number each time your foot touches the ground”
    • jump rope
    • Stretch from side to side
    • jumping jacks
    • push-ups
    • counting how long they can balance on one foot – and then the other.
  • Nursery rhymes that have counting
  • Challenge them to see how high they can count.
  • Tag with a group of kids. When someone is ‘tagged’ they must count to whatever number you decide before joining back in the game.

How do you get your kids excited about counting? What are some of your favorite counting books or activities?

Comment below or visit The Teacher Mama Podcast on Facebook to add your comment on the facebook page

Until next time my friends, Happy Learning!

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