In my last post I featured two of the language learning busy bags I assembled for William to learn letter recognition and the letter sounds T and D. This busy bag focuses on early numeracy in the form of counting from one to five.
This busy bag has so far been the most economical of the bunch, the contents costing under $2.00. Learning aids do not always have to be expensive specialty items. I purchased these number flash cards (1-10) at a yard sale in my neighbourhood last summer for fifty cents, and the foam shapes are from the dollar store. The deck of flash cards is separated as we are only working with 1-5 at this point. I like how they are simple, spell out the letter and use real pictures of everyday items.
How to Play
- I have William pick a card from the deck, which he thinks is fun, and put it on the table.
- We then count the objects on the card and make the sign for the number with our fingers, which I help him with.
- Then I ask him to put the foam pieces in a container, and we count them one by one. I find that using all one colour of counting items works best for him at this point, as he is not distracted by all the colour options. It also seems to help him to put the items in a container as opposed to just in another pile. And then you get to dump them out, which is also fun.
This is the third time we have done this activity, and each time he has been very engaged. We usually get through all twenty or so cards. One item that did not fit in this busy bag was my laminated strip of numbers for finger tracing. I need to figure out how to incorporate that item in a smaller size to fit into the bag.
The coloured foam shapes in this busy bag are also great for practicing colours. I had William put all of the green shapes in the container, and then we counted how many there were. Dual purpose is great for summer travelling; we are visiting my parents and the boys are having some cousin time with my sister’s kids, which has been both adventurous and tiring for William. It has also rained almost non stop for a few days, so my pictures are not the best.
One thing I have learned about my son through the creation of these busy bags is that he seems to find counting more enjoyable than learning letters. I think this is likely due to the more hands on approach of this counting activity. Any tips on ways to make letters more interactive?