ONE, TWO, THREE – COUNT WITH ME! | Playing simple board games and interactive games can help integrate basic math skills, teach taking turns, and strengthen the bond with your child. My three-year-old recently began playing a new game with me which has now become his favorite. The game is called “Beware of the Bear.” The
concept of the game is to see how many items you can collect from the picnic basket without waking the
bear! The person who has the most items wins!
Once the bear wakes up, I ask my son to count his items. He touches them as he counts and then shows me with his fingers how many it represents. Then if he sees that he has more than me, he excitedly says, “I won mommy!”
In addition to counting, since the items are different colors and objects, we can also group them by color and kind. This simple visual discrimination skill is helpful for children to understand what items belong and their characteristics that make the items unique. Learning should be fun for children. I am amazed at how he is learning to count on his own as we continue to play the game. Children who learn the concept of numbers and use one-
to-one correspondence are preparing for kindergarten long before entering.
Even if it is not a board game, simple counting skills can easily be embedded throughout daily routines. This includes counting the steps it takes to walk to the car, counting out snack items before eating them, and counting out favorite toys at home. The ways are endless to involve children with the ability to Count, Group, and Compare in the comfort of their home!