Every households has a deck of number cards, right? Maybe not a traditional deck of poker cards, but some card game with large numbers printed on colorful cards, like Phase Ten or Uno.
These decks of cards make great items to add to your teaching toolbox. They much more durable than paper print outs and an incomplete set is still useful for teaching your little one about counting and numbers.
This is a simple activity, but a great one for number identification practice, sorting, and critical thinking. It is a simple number matching game, with a few variations ot mix things up a bit.
Supplies needed are a single deck of cards. William and I pulled out an old deck of Uno that had several missing cards, which worked to our learning advantage. I pulled out the non-number cards and shuffled the deck, then asked William to pull one off the top. 5.
Now the rest of the game goes as follows: take turns flipping over cards. I specify to take turns and this game along side your child because modeling your thought process has great academic advantages for your youngster, and it is a skill that children learn in school. (The technical term is metacognition–which means to think about your thinking process). If the card matches the first number drawn (5) lay it next to the first. If it does not match, set it aside in a discard pile. Discriminating between numbers is an important skill in emergent math.
Once all the cards have been used or discarded, count the number of cards that matched the first once drawn.
If there are multiple cards of the same color, those can be sorted into piles of their own, and then counted. This simple activity can even be graphed so your child can recognize more and less.
I’m sure there are several other ways to use these cards, and I’d love t hear your variations! Don’t’ hesitate to share!
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.