The Growth and Giggles Blog
Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.
Teaching Numbers with Blocks
Make a block. Have fun. (To make your own block, we have a tutorial.)
Cover each of the six sides with brightly colored paper.
Write numbers 1 to 6, one on each side of the block. Write the number and the corresponding number of dots. Be sure to use the same dot configuration as is most commonly used in your area of the world (for example, what the dots look like on dice).
Putting the number next to the dots will enable your little one to learn quantity associated with the number symbol as you play and explain.
For each game using this block (see also our following post: "Teaching Words with Blocks"), get the body involved. Let the child FEEL and gain number sense in addition to understanding that number symbols represent a quantity that is stable.
EXAMPLE OF A GAME:
Each person takes a turn. They choose a movement to do: for example, jump, hop, clap. They roll the block. Everyone does the movement the number of times specified on the block. Everyone can FEEL the quantity as well as see it marked on the block.
Once children have down the concept of number quantity, older children can use two dice. This enables each roll to also involve addition or multiplication.
For a group of multi-age kids, play the younger version. It will still be fun.