Playing with numbers


From an early age, it is possible to play with numbers. Recognizing a number, counting and enumerating are three parts of learning numbers.  

Recognize a number


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The point here is to name the number and start writing it.

Observe the numbers on a daily basis. Clock, microwave, postal address, telephone number, television set, calendar, oven temperature: so many different objects where numbers are in the spotlight.

Coloring with numbers. Have the child pick a number, which may simply have been written on a small piece of cardboard, and then color in the number he has picked.  

Use pipe cleaners to form the numbers. Add challenge by using one pipe cleaner for number 1, two pipe cleaners for number 2, etc.



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We often talk about the “song” of numbers. It’s about reciting the numbers in order.

* Knowing how to count from 1 to 10 does not mean knowing how to recognize the number 3 separately or even the quantity that the 3 represents.

Use the songs. A wide variety of children’s songs address the number like: the Numbers Song, Let’s Count! 1-10, The Singing Walrus, I Spy Song – Countin Songs for children, etc.   

Invite the child to use the concept of steps: step 1, step 2, step 3. You will have to follow the logical order of the numbers to do it all. Ideal with building games, recipes or even when the child asks “what is the schedule for the day”.

Play hideout. Let the child hide, count to the last known digit of the child, then look for it! Now it’s your turn to hide, and then let the child count! 

Offer a challenge by starting the song with a number other than 0 or 1. Then work the song in reverse, from 10 to 0.




To be able to represent the number by a quantity. This is where the concept of NUMBER comes from.

Using LEGO type blocks, a small shovel and a bucket, ask the child to enumerate the number of blocks placed in front of him. The amount may vary depending on age. This exercise is also interesting for working fine motor skills!

With everyday objects (corks, buttons, pom poms, bread ties, etc.), fill containers with the required quantity.  

Does your child want to have fun with his guys? No problem! A little washable paint and hop! We make footprints: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10! We have just enumerated and made jumps of 2 at the same time!
Finally, don’t hesitate to play with numbers in your daily life. Count the number of steps on the stairs, roll a dice and move a pawn forward, notice the number 2 on a box of cereal or, with your child, sing your favorite number song!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as reflecting the position of AQED.

Traduit par Geneviève Labonté and Sandra Chartier