Scoop & Count: A Hands-on Counting Idea for Littles

This hands-on counting activity was such a HIT that I had to pop in to share all the details with you!

We all know that our preschoolers need lots of practice with counting and number recognition. BUT, that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring… NOPE! Hands-on 1:1 counting practice is the way to go and today I want to share this super simple setup that you can try TODAY!

RELATED: DIY Number Puzzles

So let’s dive right in and chat about how to set up this simple counting idea! I’ve included TWO ways to play so that you can differentiate for your child.


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Time to get our counting on!

For this first setup, use painter’s tape to label each cup with a number.

Numbers 1-5, 5-10, 1-10… you decide!

Fill and set out a bowl of water and a measuring spoon. If you want to be really cool add in a little food dye color pop to the water! WOAH!

Ask your child to identify each number on the cup then SCOOP & POUR (FINE MOTOR) that many scoops of water in each cup.

Repeat again and again!

For option 2…

Set out one large cup!

Pair the cup with a die or two, a measuring spoon, and that bowl of water.

Ask your child to roll the die, identify the number (SUBITIZING SKILLS) then scoop and pour that many scoops of water into the cup.

Keep rolling, playing, and scooping until the cup is full.

RELATED: Pick & Count Math FUN

BOTH of my girls enjoyed this activity and that is what we call a WIN!

I hope this idea sparks some inspiration and encourages you to think outside the box for ways to practice those early basic math skills.

Will you be trying this hands-on activity?


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