Learning to count is one of the most important things a toddler and preschooler does. Yes, there are many important things that toddlers do, but counting is one of them. These simple counting sticks are a fun way to encourage children to learn to count!
Counting Stick Game
Counting is the first step in so many other math skills in the future. Without counting, children most likely will not be able to do the other math skills like addition, subtraction and others. It is important that children know more than just reciting the numbers in order, though. They need to KNOW what comes after one, how many make three, etc. These counting sticks can help!
One of the best parts of this activity is that it is super simple to make and set up. You will only need a few supplies.
There are two simple ways to set up this activity. The first focuses on the stickers.
On one side of the popsicle stick, write a number and the number word. On the opposite side, add that number of stickers. Continue this process on the popsicles sticks until you have created one for each number that you want to work on.
On the clothespins, you will also need stickers and a number. One clothespin for each popsicle stick that you made.
Children will pick up a clothespin, find the popsicle stick that matches and clip the clothespin onto that popsicle stick. Do you see there? Not only are you helping them learn counting, number recognition and 1:1 correspondence, but also strengthening vital fine motor skills.
We love exploring numbers with this dinosaur activity!!
The next game option is with pom poms. You can create new popsicle sticks for this game or use the numbered side of the ones you made above. The purpose here is for children to see the number and add that number of pom poms onto the popsicle stick.
It begins to look like a caterpillar is on the popsicle stick. This can be done with whichever number you would like. I simply put a big bowl of pom poms in front of my children and ask them to dig in and put the correct number of pom poms on the popsicle stick. This is also helping to strengthen simple math skills as well as fine motor skills.
This is a fun activity for counting to 100!
These are both super simple activities yet incredibly effective in helping children strengthen math and fine motor skills that they need for future development.