Give children experiences in one-to-one correspondence every day by asking them to pass out snacks, put pegs in holes, or match puzzle pieces.
Let children match one-to-one by putting tennis balls in a muffin pan or cotton balls in an ice cube tray.
Make matching books where children match blocks, toys, cereal, and other objects one-to-one.
Teach children how to set the table with a place setting where they match real objects to outlines.
Five Little Cupcakes (Tune: “Five Little Ducks”)
Down around the corner at the bakery shop, (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Five little cupcakes with sprinkles on top.
Along came (child’s name) with a penny one day.
He/she bought a cupcake and took it away. (Put down 1 finger.)
Make paper cupcakes and choose five children to hold them. Pass out
pennies to five other children. As their name is sung in the song,
children give a penny in exchange for the cupcake.
*Change the words of this song for different seasonal objects. You can also change the amount of objects and the money used. For example:
Down at the pumpkin patch what did I see?
Ten little pumpkins orange as can be.
Along came (child’s name) with a dollar one day.
She bought a big one and she took it away.
Macarena Math - Practice counting as you dance the “Macarena.” You can also practice skip counting as you dance.
Counting Books - Let children draw pictures of themselves and use these to make a counting book. Number pages 1, 2, 3…etc. Read the book counting forwards and then backwards.
• Make a “High Five” book with children’s fingers.
Trace around each child’s hand and let him decorate it. Attach pages with tape to make an accordion book. Number pages 5, 10, 15, 20…etc.
• Make a “Piggie Book” by tracing around children’s feet. Practice counting by ten’s with this book.
A Counting We Will Go - Count as a transition activity throughout your day. Count the number of steps it takes to get to the lunchroom, the number of trees on the playground, the number of seconds it takes to get quiet, and so forth.
Blast Off - Practice counting backwards by having the children stand and pretend to be rockets. As you count 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1, children slowly stoop to the ground. After zero say “lift off” and children slowly count from 1-10 as they stand back up.
Zero the Hero - Stand like a super hero with feet out and hands on hips.
Point to numbers on a chart or hold up fingers as you count.
*Have children form a “Conga” line and dance around the room as they
sing and count.
*Don’t forget about ZERONA the heroine!
Body Counting - Use different body parts for counting to 100. Touch head as you count 1-10. Touch shoulders as you count from 11-20. Touch knees as you count from 21-30, and so forth.
Skip Counting - Patty cake or cross and tap as you practice skip counting.
Odd and Even - Slap thighs on odd numbers and clap hands on even numbers.
Expanded Notation - Have children listen as you snap for tens and clap the ones. For example: “Snap, snap, snap, clap” = 31. Add hundreds by stomping your feet, thousands by jumping, and so on.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a One (Traditional Tune)
I know an old lady who swallowed a one. (Hold up 1 finger.)
She said it was fun to swallow a one.
She’s just begun.
I know an old lady who swallowed a two— (Hold up 2 fingers.)
What a thing to do, to swallow a two!
She swallowed the two right after the one;
What number fun!
I know an old lady who swallowed a three; (Hold up 3 fingers.)
By gosh, golly, gee, she swallowed a three…
I know an old lady who swallowed a four; (Hold up 4 fingers.)
Her throat got sore from sharp-cornered four…
I know an old lady who swallowed a five; (Hold up 5 fingers.)
That jumped and jived and did a dive…
I know an old lady who swallowed a six. (Hold up 6 fingers.)
I think she’s sick; she swallowed a six…
I know an old lady who swallowed a seven. (Hold up 7 fingers.)
It wasn’t an eight, nine, ten, or eleven…
I know an old lady who swallowed an eight. (Hold up 8 fingers.)
She cleaned her plate and ate all of eight…
I know an old lady who swallowed a nine. (Hold up 9 fingers.)
I don’t think she’s fine—she swallowed a nine…
I know an old lady who swallowed a ten. (Hold up 10 fingers.)
She giggled and grinned and swallowed a ten, and that’s the end.
*Run off copies of the handout “Old Lady” from the Downloads section for the children to use as you sing.
See menu at top left.
*Put magnetic numbers on the board or on an overhead.
*Decorate a swinging trash can to look like the old lady.
Parking Lot - Draw off a parking lot with a set of dots in each space similar to the one shown. Write numerals on toy cars. Children match the cars with the correct parking spaces.
Seasonal Games - Make seasonal games where children make sets to match numerals. For example, you could have children make sets with pumpkin seeds in a pumpkin, candles on a birthday cake, gumballs in a gum machine, ice cream scoops on a cone, and so forth.
Math Line Up - A Pringle’s can or icing can and poker chips are all you’ll need to make this game. Write the numerals 1-25 (or however many children there are in your room) on the chips. Cut a 2”x ½” slit in the lid and insert the chips. When it’s time to line up, pass the can around and have each child select a chip. The person with “1” on his chip lines up, followed by the child with “2,” and so on.
Number Vests - You will need paper, clear sheet protectors, string, and a hole punch to make number vests. First, write numerals and math signs on the paper. (You can also go to makingllearningfun.com to download highway numerals that would be perfect for number vests.) Insert the numerals and signs in clear sheet protectors. Punch holes at the top and tie on string so they can be worn around the neck. Here are some activities for using number vests in your classroom:
Chant and Write (Children echo each line.)
Zero is where it all begins- (Slap thighs to the beat.)
Curve down around and up again.
Number one is so much fun -
Pull straight down and you’ve got a one.
Number two is easy to do -
Up around down and across makes two.
Number three is simple to see -
Draw two humps sideways and that’s a three.
Number four I do adore -
Go down, across, then down some more.
We’ve reached five, now let’s not stop -
Pull down, circle round, put a hat on top.
Number six is easy to fix -
Big curve, small loop will give you six.
Number seven is really sizzlin' -
Straight across, slant down, and that’s a seven.
Number eight isn’t very straight -
Make “S” then back up for an eight.
Number nine I think you’re fine -
A loop on top of a long straight line.
Number ten we’ve reached the end -
Put a one by a zero and count again: