March 22, 2011

Have a Counting Party

Are you trying to teach a little one about numbers and counting?  Why not throw a counting party? 

There is a Barney episode called "A Counting We Will Go" in which Barney and his friends throw a counting party.  My son wanted to watch the episode over and over again.  I was inspired to throw my own counting party for him.  My parents, mother-in-law, son, and daughter were the only guests, but we had a great time.  I plan to do it again when my daughter starts learning her numbers. 

To set up the party atmosphere, we decorated with balloons and put on crazy hats and beads.  We also got out the New Year's Eve noisemakers to make it more exciting.  You could even send out invitations to family members, decorate with streamers, and set out finger foods that can be easily counted (berries, grapes, and carrot sticks are healthy choices, but my son really liked the chocolate chips).

So what do you do at a counting party?  You can:

- sing songs about counting
   - The Ants Go Marching One by One (be sure to march around the house while you sing)
   - 99 Bottles of Pop on the Wall
   - Knick-Knack-Paddy-Whack
   - Roll Over (There Were Ten in the Bed)

- write out the numbers 1 to 10 on a big piece of poster board and let the kids color in the numbers

- count things like stuffed animals or toy cars

- read books that mention counting or numbers, such as
   - Ten Little Puppies by Marian Harris
   - 1 is One by Tasha Tudor
   - The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey (the puppies count themselves)
   - Baby's First 1-2-3 Book by Amy Barton

- recite the nursery rhymes "One Two, Buckle My Shoe..." and "Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed..."

- for older kids, play games involving counting and numbers, such as Hide-and-Seek or Hopscotch

Our counting party only lasted about an hour but we had a lot of fun.  Doing something out of the ordinary such as having a party makes learning exciting.  Let your imagination run wild and you too can create a fun learning atmosphere for your child!

How do you teach your kids to count?


Bitterroot Mama said...

That sounds fun. My little one only knows one and two, but this seems like a fun idea for a cold winter day.

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