It's important to give your preschoolers enough experience with different math concepts throughout their time in your classroom. The best ways to do this for Preschool is by planning number recognition activities. These activities help students grow and develop properly in the following concepts:
- Gain confidence with numbers at an early age
- Build critical thinking skills
- Help your kiddos start with a strong numerical foundation
Here is a list of 45 number recognition activities that will help reach all of the abovementioned benchmarks throughout the Preschool year.
1. Counters Motor Activity
Motor skills and math can be one and the same. This fun math activity is great for building those skills up while also helping students with their number recognition. This activity is also super simple to create with a big piece of paper (or poster board) and really any kind of markers. @Storiesaboutplay used mini glass gems, but small stones or pieces of paper can also work.
Learn more: Stories About Play
2. Magnet & Playdough Numbers
Activity tables hold some of the best games for preschoolers. They're wonderful because students can work together as well as independently to hone in on their newfound skills and experiences. Preschool kids everywhere will love forming these big numbers with playdough and then matching up the smaller, magnetic numbers above or next, too.
Learn more: The Bored Preschooler
3. Clipping Fruits
Looking for ways to track your students understanding? There's nothing better than some clothespin and laminated number wheels. This has definitely become a favorite number activity that's used as an informal assessment to monitor student progress and understanding.
Learn more: Little Wonderer's Creations
4. Color by Number Recognition
Integrating both color recognition and number recognition is really killing two birds with one stone. Not only that, but identification activities like this are also helping with students planning and deliverables skills.
Learn more: The Toddler Creative
5. Search and Find Recognition Skills
This is such a cute idea. If you have the resources to make this (pretty simple), then you should definitely have this activity somewhere in the classroom. These hands-on activities can be used at any time during the day to give students daily practice in math.
Learn more: The Lyndsey Lou
6. Foam Number Puzzles
Foam pieces have been used as recognition games for years. They are a great way to get students used to matching numbers with outlines. This fun game can be played with multiple students and will foster both number recognition and motor skills.
Learn more: Teaching Blocks
7. Scoop & Match
Finding games that promote effective sorting skills is essential in the preschool classroom. This specific activity fosters counting skills and encourages students to practice their sorting skills. Sorting skills give students the space to observe and realize differences and similarities between objects, numbers, and more.
Learn more: Jill K in Pre-K
8. Shark Teeth Counting
Fun activities often involve big, fierce animals. This is a great center activity. Students will love to practice numeral identification through shark teeth. It'll be engaging and fun for children at all levels. Let them work independently or as a group.
Learn more: The Parenting Game
9. Fishing for Numbers
This is a favourite number activity for preschoolers. Fun-filled hands-on activities like this will have students totally engaged and distracted from the fact that this is actually an enrichment activity. Give students a manipulative of numbers they should be fishing for.
Learn more: Bear's Den Montessori
10. Number Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are ALWAYS a win. This is better done in small groups, but it can be done in large groups as well. If you're able to go outside, try doing this on the playground or in the gymnasium. Have students work in teams to collect all of the numbers and fill out the treasure map.
Learn more: Play Date with DQ
11. Number Identification Through Play
Setting up a play space focused on number identification is the perfect way to tie in some extra practice for students. A math play activity for preschool kids is pretty simple to set up. Just find different objects that will promote the following:
- Number recognition
- Number usage
- Handwriting practice
Learn more: We Skoolhouse
12. Number Match
Honestly, this is a great daily activity for students. At circle time or just at a time that you need a little structured play, you'll love watching students work on finding all of the numbers. This can be used as an informal assessment as well to monitor which students are reaching benchmarks.
Learn more: Nexus Prep Preschool
13. Number Recognition Puzzles
As you can see, this is one of those fun number activities that will have kiddos feeling proud of themselves. Fun number recognition activities like this are great because they can really be set up in any area of the classroom and used at any time throughout the day.
Learn more: Emy's - Nursery and Preschool
14. Jelly Numbers
A number activity with children using construction paper! This is a great craft for any classroom learning their numbers. It is fun to create and will make for a great decoration and manipulative to have in the classroom. Oh, don't forget to finish it off with some googly eyes!
Learn more: Wilmington Island United Methodist Preschool
15. Bringing Family Members Home
This is a great activity for students working at the teacher's table. Counting games like this are fun and engaging for students. Explain to them that they are helping to bring all of their family members back home.
Learn more: Hobson Preschool
16. Build It
Building numbers with big wooden (or plastic) numbers is a great experience for preschoolers. This is a simple hands-on activity that can be done with anyone. It will help to intertwine motor skills and number recognition skills.
Learn more: Little Millenium Techzone IV Noida Extension
17. Counting Teeth
There can't be a list of educational activities for preschoolers without something to do with play dough! This one is so much fun and can easily be used in a dental unit. Students will love rolling the dice and matching the dots with the number tooth, then creating the tooth out of play dough.
Learn more: Little Minds at Work
18. Parking Cars
A simple board game for preschool classes everywhere. There's no doubt that students love playing with Matchbox Cars. Providing a special parking garage for them will be the perfect additional practice they need for building those number recognition skills.
Learn more: Preschool Inspirations
19. Jump and Say
Hopscotch has always been a fun game, but did you know it can easily be made out of sheets of paper? Just simply use color crayons to create a large number that students can jump to. Whether you play with traditional hopscotch rules or you just let your kiddos run across and say the numbers, all will be educational.
Learn more: Joy English Preschool
20. Building Caterpillars
Using pom poms or dot stickers, this activity can easily be implemented in the preschool classroom. Use it to go along with your Very Hungry Caterpillar unit plans! This is a bit tougher, so keep your children in mind and work with them.
Learn more: Popcorn Poppin Preschool
21. Flower Recognition
@brightstarsfun Spring number recognition activity #maths #numbers #toddler #learning #prek #preschool #spring ♬ 1, 2, 3, 4 - Album Version - Plain White T's
I love these super cute little flower beds. They're so fun and simple to make. Students will love playing with them in and out of math class. It can be pretty simply made with a permanent marker, some paper, and a recycled box.
Learn more: Bright Stars Fun
22. Number Sensory Activity
@beyondtheplayroom Apple Number Writing and Counting Sensory Tray for Kids. Check out @beyondtheplayroom for the Instructions on how to make the Apple Pie Scented Rice #preschoolteacher #sensorytray #preschoolactivities #countinggame #numberrecognition #finemotorskills ♬ 888 - Cavetown
A sensory activity that includes number recognition just as much as color recognition. Matching the rice to the objects being used is a great way to help students with color matching. Keep the color in one theme, from the rice, to the object, to the buttons.
Learn more: Beyond the Playroom
23. Valentine's Number Matching
These puzzles can be easily created with a sheet of paper and some markers. Draw dots and numbers and have students build some hearts. This will help students develop essential skills for number recognition and counting.
Learn more: Play to Learn
24. Couldrin Counting
@jess_grant Conjure up some preschool skills with this fun counting game 🧙🏻✨ #preschoolteacher #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #learnthroughplay #prektips ♬ Pumpkins - Chris Alan Lee
Write the recipe on little sheets of paper and watch as your students create their own little witch cauldrons. This is really a great motor activity for little hands as it works muscles that students are necessarily used to working.
Learn more: Jess Grant
25. Watermelon Counting
@harrylouisadventures Watermelon Maths #stemeducation #toddleractivities #preschoolplay #playdough #playdoughmaking #playdoughactivities #earlymaths #mathsplay #activitiesforkids #homeschool #finemororskills #counting #numberecognition #mathsactivity #actividadesinfantiles #playbasedlearning #preschool #preschooler #toddlers #stayathomemom #mumhacks ♬ Watermelon Sugar - Harry
Dough activities like this are perfect for incorporating fruits into math class. Your students will love creating the watermelons and then counting the seeds that need to go into each watermelon.
Learn more: Harry Louis Adventures
26. Number Monsters
@happytotshelf A cute monster counting activity for preschoolers! #learningisfun #handsonlearning #preschoolactivities #learnontiktok #preschoolathome #kidsactivities #counting ♬ Kids Being Kids - Happy Face Music
Create some number monsters! This is an amazing number activity for preschoolers. This is a great activity to do during circle time. Students will love instructing you on how many eyes to put on each monster. Simply use garage sale stickers to create the eyes.
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
27. Finger Painting Numbers
Fun-filled hands-on activities often include paint of some sort. Your students will love creating their numbers with all of the different paint colors. It will be fun to watch as students use their own ideas to create the pictures from dotting their fingers to just tracing along the numbers.
Learn more: The Parenting Daily
28. Straw Fishing and Matching
@happytotshelf Fun fishing and number matching game! #learningisfun #handsonlearning #homelearning #preschoolactivities #finemotorskills #diygames ♬ Happy song 1 for cooking / child / animal videos(476909) - きっずさうんど
Ready to get messy? This game will surely help with the development of numeracy skills. Students will love playing in the water (dye it with different colors to make it even more exciting). They will also love the challenge of fishing out the straws and using their counting skills to put them in the right places.
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
29. Apple Tree Counting
@happytotshelf Can you believe that my 3yo sat down for 15 whole minutes, wrote all 10 numbers and poked 55 cotton buds? #learningisfun #handsonlearning #preschoolactivities #learntocount #homelearning ♬ Happy Mood - AShamaluevMusic
How many apples are on the tree? This helps to build the foundational skills of counting. Students will count the apples and then get some extra handwriting practice by tracing the dotted lines to create the different numbers.
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
30. Snip It Up
@happytotshelf Download the printables at Happy Tot Shelf blog. #learningisfun #handsonlearning #preschoolactivities #homelearning ♬ Kimi No Toriko - Rizky Ayuba
This printable activity is great because it will allow students to practice their counting skills and develop various muscles throughout the hand. The best part is that students get to practice holding scissors and paper simultaneously, honing in on their bilateral coordination.
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
31. Red Rover Number Matching
Preschool is working on number recognition with a game of red rover outside!! #TigerLegacy pic.twitter.com/yZ0l4C2PBh— Alexandria Thiessen (@mommacoffee4) September 17, 2020
Outdoor games for children should always be at the top of your list. Being outdoors only gives students more experience and curiosity. It also gives them time to take in the fresh air and just enjoy nature.
Learn more: Alexandria Thiessen
32. Number Sorting
Grab some cups, tape foam numbers on them, sort the rest of the foam numbers into them:https://t.co/lYe1yzjXk7 pic.twitter.com/Sl4YwO4NdU— Teacher Sheryl (@tch2and3yearold) April 17, 2016
Teaching your preschoolers how to categorize will help to train them as they develop math and literacy skills. It's important for preschoolers to have enough diversity in different sorting activities, including but not limited to:
Learn more: Teacher Sheryl
33. Paper Cup Matching
Number Matching Game For The Preschool Classroom: Number Recognition, Observational Skills, & Fine Motor Skills Used 👩🏽🏫#Preschool pic.twitter.com/c5fT2XQkZf— Early Learning® (@early_teaching) August 25, 2017
Simple games for children like this one are so nice to have in the classroom. These counting games are so easy to make that each child can have their own game boards! Which is essential to individuality and student, teacher interactions.
Learn more: Early Learning
34. Froggy Jump
Check out and make this mini-book Frog Jump for your #preschool children https://t.co/qsqwI9tPTK. It explains how to play Lily Pad, a game that helps children practice number concepts like counting (or just knowing) how many dots on the die & visualizing the number line. #ECE pic.twitter.com/o2OLbc7oCG— EarlyMathEDC (@EarlyMathEDC) July 8, 2020
A printable activity that students will absolutely love! Friendly competition and games with animals make always make any learning activities that much more exciting. This is a great game to work on matching dots, numbers, and of course, working on turn-taking.
Learn more: Early Math EDC
35. Ghosts V.S. Frakenstien
Save your bread ties to make this super simple number game I call, Ghosts vs Frankenstein. Kids can take turns being either character. Roll the dice until you collect all of your numbers. #Halloween #Preschool #kindergarten #homeschooling pic.twitter.com/A9bKMjLFXM— Mom On Middle (@MomOnMiddle) October 2, 2020
This is such a cute game! Taking turns is vital in life, and it starts in preschool! Help to incorporate games that require students to take turns and learn the pattern of communication - back-and-forth exchanges.
Learn more: Mom on Middle
36. Building With Numbers
This month our Rolling Rhombus visited All Ages Read Together-a local, non-profit preschool dedicated to educating children in need. 3rd graders brought math games to teach number recognition & counting. It also helps our students learn to communicate with language barriers. pic.twitter.com/ga6OJzoEf9— St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School (@SSSASsaints) November 19, 2021
Playing with blocks is super important in the preschool years. It teaches students so many different skills, especially in a setting with multiple kiddos. Number blocks help to get kids to feel the different shapes of numbers.
Learn more: St. Stephens and St. Agnes School
37. I Spy
There's nothing better than a fun counting song. These songs can be classified as recognition games. They are great for helping kids to remember and visualize the different numbers with objects that they're familiar with.
Learn more: TheLearningStation - Kids Songs and Nursery Rhymes
38. Number Counting
If your preschoolers are just about ready for kindergarten, why not give them a challenging circle time activity?
Work together to play these different counting games. Pause the video to give students time to count and work through all of the numbers inside their brains.
Learn more: NoNa TV
39. Worms and Apples
Using sheets of paper, this counting activity can easily be recreated and used in the classroom. This is perfect for stations or seatwork. Your preschoolers may find this super funny and cute, which just makes it all the more enjoyable.
Learn more: Jady A.
40. Build and Stick
I love this activity so much. It really keeps my preschoolers engaged for long amounts of time. First building their numbers out of playdough (always a win) and then poking that amount of toothpicks into the number makes it that much more enjoyable and educational.
Learn more: The Dad Lab
41. Pom Pom Number Tracing
A dauber activity that takes away from the usual coloring and stamping activities. Help your students develop better coloring skills by providing manipulatives like pom poms (or circle stickers) to create colorful numbers.
Learn more: Childcare Land
42. Dinosaur Roll and Cover
Roll and cover is a great activity for students at all levels. This is completed both by working together and practicing turn-taking or working individually. It can also serve as an engaging informal assessment to see where your students are at in reaching the objectives.
Learn more: Childcare Land
43. Umbrella Button Counting
This is super cute and will build the foundation skill of counting. Tying number recognition into button counting will help bring students to the next level of their numeracy understanding. It will also be an engaging and creative to get students involved in their learning.
Learn more: Childcare Land
44. Countdown Chain
A countdown chain is a daily activity that can be used for so many different things! It's one of those experiential learning aspects of the classroom. It can be used for holidays, birthdays, and even the countdown to summer vacation.
Learn more: Childcare Land