Hi everyone! This is Jessie, back again to share with you a great number recognition activity for your preschoolers. I know that we’re a little past Easter now, but I swear those plastic eggs find a way to keep popping up around the house. Well this is the perfect way for you to get some great use out of them! Or, if your plastic Easter eggs are all packed up and put away, any empty containers can work for this activity.
Plastic Easter eggs worked great for me:
But you can also use envelopes:
Or random empty food boxes:
Even an empty pill sorter works well:
Honestly, anything you can find to put stuff in will work.
Seriously, this only took me a few minutes to set up, but my daughter loved it, it was super effective, and she was able to do it independently. That’s right, I cleaned my whole kitchen while my daughter taught herself which numeral corresponds with which number. All I really had to do was check her work at the end.
So here’s what I did. First, I gathered ten plastic Easter eggs. But grab however many containers (of whatever kind) works best for you. Then I labeled them from 1 to 10. I filled them with ten DIFFERENT sets of objects, with the quantity of each object corresponding with the number of egg it was to be put in. Make sure each set of objects is different. First of all, it works better with the activity. Secondly, my kiddo got so excited wondering what little treasure she would find in the next egg, even though the objects I chose weren’t anything special. I had: 1 necklace, 2 erasers, 3 binder clips, 4 pennies, 5 googly eyes, 6 floral marbles, 7 paper clips, 8 beads, 9 buttons, and 10 rubber bands. And that’s it for set up. It really took hardly any time at all.
Next came my kiddo’s part. She’s pretty good at counting, so after I explained the process and helped her get started, she was able to do this part all on her own. My daughter looked at the numeral on the egg and guessed which number she thought it was. Then, she opened the egg and counted all of the objects inside. This allowed her to check her own guess and see if she named the correct number. After counting the objects, she then placed them in a basket. She repeated this process with all of the eggs. She put ALL objects in the same basket. After she had guessed, emptied, and counted every egg, she mixed up the objects in the basket. This helped “disorient” her a little, forcing her to once again count the objects and match them to the egg with the correct numeral. Otherwise, she could have just placed each set of objects by its own egg and she wouldn’t have even needed to look at the numbers. When she was done refilling the eggs, I stepped in and checked her work.
She really only knew a couple of the numerals when she started, but because of the self-check process in this activity she picked up on them really quickly. She mixed up 8 and 9 at the end, but all of the rest she got right. We’ve repeated the same activity a couple times and she’s really starting to solidly know the numerals. (If you do repeat the activity a different day, I would suggest changing up your objects. The element of surprise was a big part of what made this fun.) Maybe next time, I’ll fill the containers with snacks: cheerios, fish crackers, grapes. . . or maybe she’d just eat them and throw the whole process off! Anyway, we’ve had a lot of fun with this little game and hopefully you will too!
Here are some more posts with preschool activities on OSSS: