Rote counting is the ability to recite numerals. Rationale counting involves understanding the meaning of numbers.
Diversity of activities is the key to keep the child interested in math. There are many variants of math games you can use taking advantage of your whole environment. The teacher should be the facilitator on how numbers and counting apply to the child’s life and the world around.

Songs, rhymes, finger plays, and stories are a wonderful way to introduce counting to children.

Count as you do various exercises, such as jumping jacks, toe touches, waist bends, etc.

Count as you bounce a ball, swing, or jump rope.

Count how many apples you need for a snack, how many blocks you can stack in a tower, how many steps to the playground – count everything!

Count while you’re waiting for lunch, riding on the bus, or between activities.

Count how many fish are on the whale chart.


Use Apple to Zebra’s Frog calendar chart (Available soon) can be used orally count the days as you point to the numerals.



Make a number line on the floor with tape. Let the child name numerals as they walk on the number line.


Let the child hang up numeral cards with clothespins on a clothesline in the room.


Make a paper train with and engine and 10 separate cars. Write “0” on the engine and the numerals 1-10 on the cars. Have the child line the cars up in order from left to right.



Let the child complete dot-to-dot pictures by counting and following the numerals.


Play number detective where the child must tell you what numbers comes before, after, or between what you say. For example, “What number comes before 6?’, “What number comes after 9?”, or “What number comes between 2 and 4?”

Teach ordinal numbers with everyday questions like, “Who is the first person in line? The second? The third?”

Introduce the child to estimations by asking them to guess how many objects there are un different sets. For example, ask them how many balloons there are in a bag, grapes on their stem at snack time, or books in the library. Encourage them to count to verify their estimate.

Math is everywhere. And if you make a rule to capture those moments for an engaging and playful counting exercise you can get your child to assimilate efficiently the concept.