Preschool Counting Games

Counting is an essential skill that preschoolers need to practice to lay a foundation for mathematical concepts down the road.  But, counting is more than just saying numbers in order out aloud.  Children need to be able to rote count (saying numbers aloud) and count with 1-1 correspondence (every item they are counting gets one number). Games that incorporate these skills are the best way for young children to learn how to rote count and count with 1-1 correspondence.  The games featured below encourage counting, numeral recognition and subitizing.  Take a look!

The best way to help a child learn to rote count and count with 1-1 correspondence is to play games! Here are some preschool counting games.
The best way to help a child learn to rote count and count with 1-1 correspondence is to play games! Here are some preschool counting games.

Balance Bear Count Game

Materials Needed: Counting Bears (or other manipulatives), balance scale and die.

Two Players - How to Play: Each player gets a bucket on the scale. Take turns rolling the die and placing that many bears in the bucket.  Now, the second player does the same.  Keep playing until one bucket is full!

Learning benefits: Subitizing using a dot die, counting with 1-1 correspondence and taking turns.

Counting game with balance scale and counting bears. Perfect for subitizing and counting with 1-1 correspondence.
Counting game with balance scale and counting bears. Perfect for subitizing and counting with 1-1 correspondence.

Counting and Numerals Game

Materials Needed: Numerals (foam or plastic) and counters (such a bears or buttons).

One Player - How to Play: Lay out the numerals in numeric order from left to right.  Student places the correct number of counters under each numeral.

Learning benefits: Recognizing numerals, counting with 1-1 correspondence and placing numbers in numeric order.

Help students recognize numerals and count with 1-1 correspondence with this fun game.
Help students recognize numerals and count with 1-1 correspondence with this fun game.

Parking Lot Game

Materials Needed: Parking Lot Gameboard, vehicle counters and numeral cards (not shown)

Teacher & Child - How to Play: Show student a numeral card (write numbers on index cards).  Students put a vehicle counter on that numeral.  Play until parking lot is full.

Learning benefits: Recognizing numerals.

The parking lot game is a numeral recognition game that is a lot of fun to play!
The parking lot game is a numeral recognition game that is a lot of fun to play!

Roll and Build Game

Materials Needed: blocks and dot die

One Player - How to Play: Roll the die and stack that many blocks on top of one another.  Roll again and place that many more blocks on top of the existing tower.  Play until the tower tumbles.

Learning benefits: Subitizing using a dot die, counting with 1-1 correspondence and fine motor skills.

Play roll and build subitizing and counting game together and see who can make the tallest tower.
Play roll and build subitizing and counting game together and see who can make the tallest tower.