|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Children should be exposed to counting well before they are capable of counting themselves, as there are lots of concepts and skills involved which they need to be aware of long before they can do it! They need to understand that objects can be counted, that counting relates to quantity, they need to learn the names of numbers and learn the order of those words. Children will learn to count at very different ages. This activity is a more complex game which involves movements and counting.
- Two large dice – Inflatable ones are good, or you can adapt a square box.
- Pictures to stick onto one of the die
How it works
Children roll two dice – one which gives them the number of steps to take and second which gives them what kind of steps to take.
What to do in the class
Prepare 2 large dies (you can stick pictures onto a large cube). The first should have the classic 6 dots on. The second should have pictures of the animals (below) on each side. The children stand in a large circle. Either a child or the instructor rolls the animal die and the instructor demonstrates how that animal moves. Then they roll the numbered die and they all count the number of dots. All the children make the required number of steps like the animal into the middle of the circle and then they repeat going back out. The instructor counts loudly to encourage the children to count with them as they make their steps.
This activity might be best done in smaller groups with each group having 2 dice and with parents helping the children play the game. Perhaps they could make their way from one side of the hall to the other.
- Elephant – giant steps
- Mouse – tiny steps
- Frog – jumps
- Horse – gallop
- Bird – flap of arms
- Crab – side steps
Adaptations for older/younger children
What to do in a nursery setting
Activity would need to be done in one big group. Initially the instructor should carry out the movements while the children count, then the children can copy and count their own movements before going onto the next animal.
Trish recommends Jungle Mania by Bright Stars as a good piece of music.