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15 Best Counting Activities For Preschoolers To Learn And Have Fun

counting activities for preschoolers

Learning to count is an essential preschool skill. Counting is used in many areas of life, and building a strong foundation of counting skills can pave the way for future success in mathematics. Counting is also fun, which makes it a great idea to have some counting activities ready at home. 

Teaching early math concepts is an integral part of early development for young children. It allows children to identify patterns and make logical connections between different situations. Basic math skills like counting and number sense can be taught at an early age and will be useful as children grow and move through school. Counting is fundamental as it helps young children understand the process of numbers while still building these skills.

Benefits of Counting Activities for Children

Counting activities are a fun way to introduce young children to mathematics. It is a reliable way of measuring quantities of objects, and it helps children understand that numbers have meaning. This type of understanding will be useful in various mathematical endeavors.

There are many benefits to counting activities for children. These include:

  • Developing their cognitive skills.
  • Improves logical thinking and reasoning skills
  • Builds confidence
  • Improves fine motor skills (building those fingers and hand muscles)
  • Enhances their sense of numbers and quantity

Engaging in counting activities with your children makes math fun and more interesting. They are great for building early math skills, perfect for fine motor practice, and a great way to bond with your child.

15 Best Counting Activities for Preschoolers

Before you begin, make sure your children understand how to count. Provide examples, so they have a clear idea of what counting is. This way, they can focus on the fine motor skills, not the concept. Also, materials and supplies are needed to complete the counting activities. 

Here are 15 fun activities for your preschooler to help them learn and have fun!


color blends

This simple activity is perfect for children just starting to learn about colors. It is great for fine motor practice, and children will learn how to mix and match colors.

Materials Needed:

– Paper plates

– Pipe cleaners 

– Markers, crayons, or paint


• Put paper plates on the table, and have your child divide the paper plates into three groups.

• Using markers, crayons, or paint, have your child color a section of the paper plate, making sure they mix and match colors.

• Use pipe cleaners to make designs for each color area.

• Have your child count the number of each color on the paper plates.


Preschoolers love putting things on strings or lines. This activity for kids is perfect for counting, problem-solving, and fine motor skills. Using yarn to hold the M&M’s makes this counting activity fun and simple to complete.

Materials Needed:

– Yarn or Ribbon

– M&M’s (with regular size hole)


• Use yarn or ribbon to tie the M&M’s together.

• Have your child count how many M&M’s are on the string.

• They can sort the colors of the M&M’s or choose a color to count.


farm animals

Counting farm animals is a fun way for children to learn! With this animal counting activity, kids will match animals, learn colors, and engage in fine motor activities. Preschool children will love counting and playing with these farm animal figures, naming them, and identifying each accordingly.

Educational Purpose:

– Learn about farm animals

– Understand what animals are typically found on a farm

– Learn how to count

Materials Needed:

– A collection of farm animal figures

– A farm-themed mat or large piece of paper


• Have your preschooler lay out the animals on a farm-themed mat or large piece of paper.

• Have your children count each animal.

• Teach them to name each animal.


Playdough is one of the best activities to teach kids numbers and counting. This activity is fun for your child to learn the basic concepts of numbers and counting. Your child can easily manipulate the play dough and make different shapes. 

In this activity, the best part is that you can choose from various colors and shapes of playdoughs, so your child does not get bored of playing with them all the time.

Materials Needed:

– Playdough

– Bento picks 

– Tray


• Give the child a tray of play dough, a set of numbers, and bento picks.

• Have your child count the bento picks that match the number in the play dough.

• Once the child is done counting, place the bento picks in the tray of play dough that matches the number.

• Let the child shape the play dough that matches the bento picks.

• Ask your child to count again once they are finished.


fun sizes

This is a fun game activity; however, the key is to include your child in counting the objects. This way, they will understand that numbers have meaning and are not just random objects. Your child will learn various sizes of items and how to count them. When serving this game, you must use different sizes of things to show your child the difference in size.

Educational Purpose:

– Learn size measurement

– Count different-sized items with ease

– Learn to differentiate between sizes

– Develops fine motor skills and talent for the hands and fingers 

Materials Needed:

– Different sizes of items

– A place to set up the items

– Clock or timer


• Choose two different sizes of a similar item. For example, two different sizes of balls.

• Set up the items in a place that is easy to see, such as on top of a table.

• Ask your child to count the number of each item and name the different sizes.

• Keep track of how long it takes to complete this activity. Make sure you time yourself, so your child does not see how long it took.

• Work with your child to count the sizes and to take turns counting for each item size.


Putting together toys with play money is a great way to practice counting skills and learn about numbers. Children will enjoy playing pretend and pretending to pay or to see if their pretend friend can afford their “goodies” first. 

Educational Purpose:

– Count the money

– Learn to count with currency

– Develops fine motor skills and dexterity in fingers and hands

Materials Needed:

– Play money

– Goodies (or pretend play items)


• Let them pretend as the buyer or the seller, whichever you prefer.

• If the child is a buyer, instruct them to buy something in the store with their money.

• If the child is a seller, instruct them to sell their goodie to the other child for a certain amount.

• The child can purchase items if they have enough money or sell them if they do not.


counting popsicle sticks

Playing with popsicles is fun for children to learn how to count. This basic counting activity is very educational and will help your child learn the basics of counting, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

Materials Needed:

– Purchase popsicle sticks

– Parchment paper


• Ask your child to count the popsicle sticks on the parchment paper.

• Have your child separate them all by color.

• Count and sort each color separately to make it more challenging for your child.


Counting marbles is a great way for children to learn different ways of counting. This activity will help them count and sort differently sized objects as well as help them develop fine motor skills and dexterity in their fingers and hands.

Materials Needed:

– Marbles that are various sizes

– Tray or box


• Place the marbles in a tray or box in various piles. If you have the space, make the stacks look more like a marble run.

• Have your child count the marbles and name each color and how many there are in each pile.

• Have your child sort the marbles according to their colors.


match the picture to the number

The activity is a great way to build number sense and counting skills! The children can match the pictures to the numbers by color, shape, or size. It’s a great way to introduce the concept of number relationships and make it fun for the kids at the same time!

Materials Needed:

– Colorful pictures cut from magazines (one for each number)

– A piece of paper with the numbers 1-10


• If the picture shows a number sign, your child should match that picture to the number on the paper.

• Once they are done matching, have them count how many pictures they matched to each number.

• If they are having trouble, help them match by guiding their hand and having them point to each numbered sign.

• Use different pictures for each number and have them match the correct number to the right image.


This is a great activity for number sense and counting! Counting objects in groups of ten is a great way to help your child learn how to tally various numbers. It’s a fun way to work on ten and also great for counting practice.

Materials Needed:

– A Place that is quiet and comfortable

– Preschoolers students


• Have your child sit in a comfortable place and close their eyes.

• After, shout “Group yourselves in 6” and have the children separate into six groups.

• After, shout “Group yourselves in 4” and have the children separate into four groups.

• Then, continue with “Group yourselves in 10” and have the children separate into groups of ten.

• Keep calling the group ten until they get the idea and understand what you are asking them to do.

• Keep repeating this activity repeatedly until they understand how groupings work. 


Preschooler loves stuffed toys, and this activity is a great way to get them interested in counting numbers. This activity will aid their counting ability and develop their math skills.

Materials Needed:

– Sheep (stuffed toys)

– Room


• The teacher scatters the sheep (stuffed toy) across the room in this game. The child is then to retrieve them and put them on the table. The child will then count how many they have and keep track of their collection. This is a great way to teach your child to tally and how to use numbers in a fun way.


play scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt is a fun activity that can teach or practice counting or just as a fun way to get familiar with the classroom, school, or a specific place. 

This great activity teaches your child the basics of counting, fun, and creativity. This scavenger hunt is a great way to help develop fine motor skills, as well as a great way to help your child learn basic math facts.

Materials Needed:

– Your child (or you)

– A list of items the children need to find.


• Make a list of items they need to find. 

• Place the list inside a desk or somewhere the children can’t see.

• Take turns giving the children clues about where each item is in the classroom so they can search for them.


Tally marks are a fun way to help your child learn basic math facts. Have them count different items and then use the tally marks to help them count how many of each thing they have. This activity helps develop your child’s number sense and problem-solving skills and helps them learn to tally.

Materials Needed:

– Pens or pencils

– Items (such as small toys) 

– Paper


• Ask your child to make tally marks on the paper.

• Have them count how many of each item they have, then use tally marks to show how many are in each group.

• Help your child with trouble by making groups for them.

• Lastly, have them write the number of each item next to the tally marks.


This is a great way to help your child learn to count and introduce them to the concept of rhythm. Through this activity, your child will learn to recognize patterns and an easy way to calculate.

Materials Needed:

– A quiet place 

– A friend or teacher (if necessary)

– Preschooler (or you)

– A chair for the child to sit on


• Get everyone in the room ready with their hands on a chair.

• Next, have everyone clap their hands together at a steady pace. You can start off by counting “1” and then clapping once each time you say it

• Then moves on by saying “2,”; then clapping twice each time you say it, etc., until reaching ten! This will help familiarize your child with the pattern they’ll be following so they can follow along without too much trouble!

15. PLAY “I SPY!”

play i spy

This is a great way to help your child learn about place value and number sense. Have your child count the objects (or people, places, or things) you can see. They can also practice patterning and recognizing numbers which enhance their listening skills.

Materials Needed: 

– A person

– An object (or two)

– Room


• Tell your child you will play “I Spy” with them.

• Have them look around the room and find one person or thing in the room. Tell them to say what they saw and then add the number.

• If needed, ask them questions about what they saw: “Is it a girl/boy? What color is their hair? How many people/things are there?”

• Once they have answered all your questions, tell them you want them to count how many people are in the room by saying their age: “There are two girls here; one is eight years old, and one is five years old.”

Final Thoughts

This is a great idea to help your child build their counting skills and develop their math facts. There are many options for fun math activities, but it is important to remember that you should use whatever works best for your child. Some children have a harder time keeping their attention if there are too many things going on, while other children are the opposite and prefer to be around a lot of people and noise. 

Are you looking for a trusted and reliable source of fun and educational activities for your preschooler? Look no further than NY BabySteps Preschool.

Our activities keep your child entertained, engaged, and learning. We work hard to create creative activities and make children’s learning experiences fun and memorable. Our goal is to provide your child with an unforgettable experience and a lifetime of fun and success.

For more information about NY BabySteps Preschool, please contact us. We look forward to meeting you and helping your child discover a new world of learning and fun.