Playful Oral Counting Games

Playful Oral Counting Games
To develop oral counting skills through
movement activities.
Whole Group
Small Group
Key Concepts and Skills
• Practice oral counting forward by ones. [Number and Numeration Goal 1]
Materials none
Planning Tip Play the games
on separate days if you think it
will confuse children to learn both
games at once. Consider using a
counting song to introduce this
activity. (See Teaching Options.)
Core Activities
䉴 Playing Counting Games
Play several rounds of each of these games as a class.
Follow the Leader Have children sit in a circle on the floor and talk with them about
ways they can move their bodies while sitting. Explain and demonstrate a counting
game similar to Follow the Leader. Tap your head or wiggle your fingers, and have the
children join in. Direct them to begin counting (while continuing the movement) and go
around the circle, with each child saying the next number. Invite the child who says ten
to change the movement. Start the count over from one with the new movement. Repeat
as long as interest lasts.
Count and Sit Have children stand in a circle and choose a target number, such as
eight. Begin counting with one and go around the circle with each child saying the next
number in sequence. The child who says the target number sits down and the count
begins again at one. The seated child is skipped as the count continues around the circle
with another child sitting each time the target number is reached. Keep counting
around the circle until all children are sitting. Some children may enjoy trying to figure
out who will be the last person left standing. Repeat, using different target numbers.
the Activity
Both games can be played using
higher numbers, counting
backward, or skip counting as
children are ready.
Ongoing Assessment: Informing Instruction
Listen to find out where children have difficulty in counting. When they stumble,
do they need to start over from one? Have they developed other strategies to
pick up the counting? Some children may benefit from a visual reference such as
a number line to help them keep track or make sense of counting patterns.
䉴 Using Pattern Blocks
(Revisit Activity 1䉬 2, p. 48)
Keep pattern blocks in the Math Center for continued exploration. As children share
their designs and talk about them, introduce ways to record and preserve their work.
You might provide paper and pattern-block stickers or pattern-block shapes cut out of
construction paper, newspaper, fabric, or wallpaper. You can also photograph children’s
creations and post them in the classroom for inspiration. (The Pattern-Block Template is
introduced in Activity 4-3, p. 192.)
Teaching Options
䉴 Singing Counting Songs
Sing and act out counting songs such as “Ten Little Penguins.” When possible,
substitute higher numbers in songs (“Eight Little Monkeys,” instead of “Five Little
Monkeys,” for example). See Resources for the Kindergarten Classroom for song
䉴 Reading Counting Books
Read The April Rabbits by David Cleveland (Putnam, 1978), a counting book to 30. See
Resources for the Kindergarten Classroom for a list of other counting books.
Activity 2 6 Playful Oral Counting Games
A Pattern-Block Design