Of all the number sense skills, teaching counting is always a priority. Here are 39 hands-on counting activities for preschoolers and toddlers.
This post contains lots of links to free printables, so be sure to grab them all!
Counting Activities and Counting Printables for Preschoolers
In my preschool classroom, we do a lot of tasks multiple times and even more tasks regularly.
We have routines.
Upon arrival, students take off their shoes and place them in a basket. After name practice children gather at the circle time area to read stories. We do group work after free choice centers. We enjoy a snack before playing outside.
These are just a handful of a few very simple routines that add a huge amount of predictability in our preschool day, but this is not a post about establishing preschool routines. This is a post about developing counting skills in preschoolers.
Why do I bring this up?
Because practicing counting in one important piece we add to so many of our preschool routines.
Fro example, we count to twenty as we wash our hands before snack. We count how many plates or bowl as we need, how many napkins and cups, too. Then we count grapes or scoops of trail mix or carrot sticks or whatever as we add them to our plates. Sometimes the children even count as they eat their snacks. And then we count as we wash our hands after snack.
We do this because not only do children have a natural propensity for organizing and counting, but also because the basic foundation of math is understanding numbers and quantities (or number sense), is through handling objects and counting them.
We practice so much counting in preschool because not only is it a perfectly developmentally appropriate skill, but it is just so easy to add to just about every preschool routine, too!
Counting Activities and Printables for Preschoolers
For your convenience, I’ve divided these counting activities for preschoolers into two basic categories. Those with printables and those without.
Hands-On Counting Activities for Preschoolers
This pumpkin counting game combines fall themes, counting, and water play all in one!
Got a set of apple mini erasers? This post has 6 different counting activities for your apple theme!
Add some process art to your counting work with this fun fireworks counting game perfect for celebrating the 4th of July!
Use clean up time as a way to teach your preschoolers concepts of ten.
And this math activity is a crazy simple way to introduce your preschooler to addition and subtraction during counting practice.
Free Counting Printables for Preschoolers
Studying bugs and butterflies this year? Then you need to add this Butterfly Counting Printable 0-20 to your preschool math centers.
Feed the Bunny Counting Printable is such a funny way to celebrate Easter as your preschoolers will love “munching” on carrots.
Start off you spring theme with these beautiful Gardening Ten Frame Counting Cards.
Learn about kindness and friendship with these heart grid games.
Preschoolers will have extra fun practicing number formation with these number cards! They can be used with any theme.
Add some playdough sensory play with these pumpkin counting cards.
Watch out for the sneaky squirrel in this silly fall counting game.
Have a train fanatic in your preschool? Try this rainbow train counting and graphing game. Your little conductor is sure to adore it!
Add lots of gross motor fun to your dinosaur theme with this 10 Little Dinosaurs Song and printable puppets.
Or print off these Thanksgiving counting cards to add to your Thanksgiving preschool theme.
Farmer Brown has Five Red Apples is always a favorite preschool counting song. Print off your copy!
Teach more and less concepts with these strawberry lemonade counting mats. Or add them to your lemonade stand dramatic play center.
It’s a Zoo! is a fun counting board game that also teaches graphing concepts.
Add some play dough fun to your desert theme with these Cactus Number Formation Cards.
This collecting bugs game introduces preschoolers to basic addition skills!
3-2-1 Blast off to space with these space themed grid games.
Try these 5 Little Gingerbread Men counting mats for hours of Christmas counting fun.
More Preschool Counting Printables
Nothing but number identification and counting skills in this pack of 12 activities!
Or get your counting activities laid out for three entire months with these 0-20 counting lesson plans.
Want something more advanced? Try these addition and subtraction lesson plans.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.