early numeracy for preschoolers

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers

early numeracy for preschoolers
This post on Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers is part of my 21 Challenge. I am taking The 21 Challenge to raise money to support homeless and at-risk young people in Australia. There are more than 32,000 young people who sleep on our streets every night and I blogging a kids activity daily to raise funds to go to Open Family Australia who support these youths.

My challenge is to blog daily an activity I do each day with my kids, using only things we have at home or use what we have on hand when we are out. You can see all the children’s activities I have posted as part of the 21 Challenge by clicking on the tag 21 Challenge here.



A simple sorting and counting game for preschoolers. We play shops using the fruit counters, taking turns to buy and sell fruit to each other.


I played this with the three year old, but very soon into the play, the 6 and 8 year old appeared wanting turns too.

Materials needed:

  • Fruit counters (I purchased ours about 8 years ago from the store Windmill, you can see similar counters at their online shop.)
  • Containers to sort into
  • Cash register
  • Shopping baskets or containers


To introduce early numeracy skills to the preschooler like:

  • sorting – classifying and grouping like items
  • counting – recite numbers in order
  • one to one matching – while being able to recite numbers is a skill preschoolers can learn by rote, one to one matching means that they count out items correctly. This takes time and practice and there are so many real life opportunities you can use to help them practice counting out, eg two biscuits for each child.

What we did:

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
The preschooler sorted all the fruits into their own containers. I placed one of each fruit into the containers to get him started.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
We took turns of being the customer. I would ask for an amount of fruit from 1 – 3 pieces and would also show him on my fingers how many that was.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
He would them count each piece of fruit, one by one, into my bowl. This is new for him, so I would count along with him. He was happy to count 1, 2, 15 and so on! So we will be playing this game regularly for a while to help cement, his number knowledge.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
Time to pay up!

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
Master 3’s turn to be the customer and he wants 3 bananas.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
No, make that 5!

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
More sorting as we put all the fruit back into their right containers.

Additional resources – Early Numeracy Apps:

I have downloaded a couple of apps which focus on similar early numeracy skills. I like mixing up the mediums used for the preschooler to explore new concepts, so will give him shorts bursts of time on the app to compliment the play we do together.

Bugs and Buttons
Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
The graphics on this app are impressive and it is even more so on the iPad. Thanks to Liz for showing me this app. There are a number of games for the preschooler to choose from.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
The Button game is a simple sorting activity

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
And patterns requires the preschooler to analyse what the pattern is, so they can fill the gap.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
Counting requires the preschooler to touch all the bugs and then touch the matching number. Personally the cockroaches freak me out!

Cost: $2.99. I think for the number of games you get, the nice graphics and the music, this app is good value for money.
Link: Bugs and Buttons

Maths, age 3 – 5
Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
We only have the free version at the moment, so the only topic we have access to is the sorting and matching. The preschooler has to work through one game to unlock the next.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
The graphics aren’t quite as pretty as Bugs and Buttons, but it does have a great instructor who tells the preschoolers what to do. They can replay the instruction too if they didn’t understand it. I also liked how you can have different users, so each child who uses it can stay at their own level.

Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
Swipe out the one which isn’t the same.

early numeracy for preschoolers
The games are also great for working on colour identification with the preschooler.

Cost: One topic (sorting and matching) is free, you can then buy further topics individually or the whole set for $10.49. While we haven’t bought the full app yet, once we have mastered these basic concepts I most likely will. It does deal with early numeracy concepts very well from what I have seen in topic 1, so think it will be a good tool to use to support the preschoolers learning.
Link: Maths, 3 – 5

What sort of early numeracy games do you play with your preschooler?

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