Scroll through these math and counting ideas.

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Counting Activities for Toddlers

  • Counting Cheerios. Starting around 6 to 12 months, you begin counting everything. Add Cheerios to your child's high chair tray one by one as you count. Count the snaps on her pajamas as you snap them up, count the plates as you set the table for dinner, count the number of steps up to your door, count the number of seconds it takes for a red light to turn green when you are in the car, You can count SO many things all day long.

  • Anticipation counting. Say, "I'm going to tickle you when I count to three: 1, 2, 3, tickle tickle tickle"

Counting One-to-One

  • As you count things one at a time, your child will begin to pick up on it, but it could be delayed for several months as it processes in their brain. Then suddenly one day you will be surprised to see your child count to 10 or more. Just keep counting. Count the number of steps from your door to your car or count a collection of rocks your child brought you.

  • Help your child point to each item and count one number for each item. Kids tend to go faster with pointing than they do with saying the numbers or the other way around, but in time and with practice, it will click.

  • Try clapping as you say each number. That helps your child see the pattern of one number for each clap.


  • You can help teach counting one-to-one by separating numbers into their own space with a "ten frame" like this.

  • You can start by showing a card with a number on it and ask your child to place an object in each space as they count up to that number.

  • This photo shows a 10 frame that goes to 20 or you can use one that goes to 10. For this one, you could have your child crumple up 20 tiny pieces of trash for the recycling truck to pick up.

Sorting & Patterning

  • Another math concept is sorting. There are many ways to help your child sort things. They can help you sort the laundry into dark colored clothes and light colored clothes before putting them in the laundry. They can help you sort anything you need sorted, really, such as sorting the silverware as you take it out of the dishwasher. They can sort into the little compartments in your drawer. They can sort toys as they are cleaning up so that one type of toy goes in one bin and another type goes in another bin.

  • Patterning is any repeating pattern. You can point out the stripes on your child's shirt and say, "blue green blue green blue green." You can notice any type of pattern and point it out. Ex. bunny pig bunny pig bunny pig. Then a few weeks or months later, your child will be noticing patterns and mention it to you if you have been doing it frequently.

Image from Amazon

Graphing & Comparing

Measuring & Volume

More Math Skills and Activity Ideas Coming Soon!

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