Learning to Count Activity

Counting Activity for Kids and Toddlers
Books are a wonderful way of exploring and learning about a new concept.  It provides as an introduction and also an extension of the learning into an activity.  Elmer’s First Counting Book by David McKee is a fabulous book to introduce counting to young children and toddlers.
This counting activity involves reading and sharing the story Elmer’s First Counting Book.  Followed by a count and match the number activity using coloured squares that imitate the colourful patches on Elmer the Elephant from the book.
What you will need?
Elmer the Elephant Counting Activity
You will need a large sheet of paper, black marker pen, ruler, scissors, coloured paper and Elmer’s First Counting Book. Glue is optional. 
To make the coloured squares, cut up the coloured paper into squares approx. 2.5cm x 2.5cm.
I used the ruler and black marker pen to create the graph like sections for each number on the paper and also wrote the numbers with matching dots to represent the value.
The glue is only optional, we did not glue the coloured squares down, to allow for this activity to be completed and play with over and over again
Let’s Play
Elmer the Elephant Activity Ideas
Some ideas:
  • Allow your child to hold the book and have full ownership of the reading experience.
  • Talk about the cover page and title such as, “What do you think the story is about?”
  • Model to your child the counting and pointing at each picture as you count it. Hold your child’s hand/finger as they point and count with them.
  • Ask questions throughout the book such as “Do elephants really look like Elmer?” “Do crocodiles laugh?” “Which page is your favourite, why?”
  • For older children, ask them to find the number 1, number 2, etc on each page and point to it.
  • Place a coloured square over each picture when counting in the book Elmer’s First Counting Book.
Let’s Learn
Counting Book Activities for Toddlers and Pre Schoolers
I really like the way this activity introduces children to counting, early graphing skills and also representing the value of  each number.  The higher the number the more squares are needed to make that number.  It is also repetitive and allows children to practice counting out loud.
Learning Opportunities
  • Fine Motor Development – manipulating objects.
  • Hand-eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Language development – Counting our loud and pronunciation of numbers. Developing vocabulary from reading the book Elmer’s First Counting Book.
  • Mathematics – Recognising numbers, value of numbers and early graphing skills.
  • Sorting by colour and number.
For more Counting and Number Activities <CLICK HERE>
Number Activities for kids - learning4kids

We’re Going on a ‘Teddy’ Bear Hunt

We’re going on a ‘Teddy’ bear hunt…….I’m not scared!
We have a gorgeous book which comes with a CD that tells the story of the adventure of going on a bear hunt.  My kids have played this CD over many times as I watch them pretend to walk through long, wavy grass and run away from a bear.  So I thought I would bring this story to life some more by creating the different scenes in the book.
Playing with songs and books help prepare children for future learning and teach them beginning pre-reading skills.  Re-enacting we’re going on a bear hunt is a fun activity we can do with our kids to help promote this learning through play.
The Book:
‘Bear Hunt’ comes with a CD which is read by Noni Hazelhurst with Benita Collings, Alister Smart and George Spartels who are from ABC4Kid’s television show Play School.  Illustrated by Patricia Mullins.  Published by The Five Mile Press Pty Ltd
There is another version of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ written by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
activity ideas for we're going on a bear hunt
Uh-oh.  (Uh-oh)
Grass. (Grass)
Long wavy grass.  (Long wavy grass).
We can’t go over it.  (We can’t go over it).
We can’t go under it.  (We can’t go under it.)
We’ll have to go through it!
Swish, swish, swish, swish!
To make our “Long Wavy Grass” we opened up a box so that both ends were open like a tunnel.  When the box is open like this, it can become unstable so we strengthened it with masking tape.  We also placed a large pillow on either side of the box to help hold it up firm for when the kids would crawl through it.  We then sticky taped green streamers down over the two openings of the box.  We also placed our green mat inside the box but you could alternatively use a green towel or blanket.
activities with books for kids and toddlers
Uh-oh.  (Uh-oh)
Mud. (MUd)
Thick oozy mud.  (Thick oozy mud).
We can’t go over it.  (We can’t go over it).
We can’t go under it.  (We can’t go under it.)
We’ll have to go through it!
Squelch, squelch, squelch, squelch!
To make our thick oozy mud, we simply placed a number of cushions and pillows on the floor and laid a brown blanket on top imitating the thick oozy mud.
bear activities for kids
Uh-oh.  (Uh-oh)
A cave. (A cave)
A dark gloomy cave.  (A dark gloomy cave).
We can’t go over it.  (We can’t go over it).
We can’t go under it.  (We can’t go under it.)
We’ll have to go through it!
Tiptoes, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe!
To create our cave, we a placed a brown fitted sheet over our dining chairs which were arranged in the shape of a cave.  I used a fitted sheet because I find this clings better to the dining chairs and is less likely to slide off.
Learning Experiences:
  • Encourages and promotes imaginative play and creativity.
  • Getting little bodies moving through dance and rhythm.
  • Develop and extend vocabulary.
  • Rhyme – understanding rhyme in our spoken language helps children learn to read.
  • Rhythm- helps children to remember words and develop auditory memory skills.
  • Phonemic awareness – hearing and understanding that words are made up of individual sounds and other word patterns. 
Other Teddy Bear Activities on Learning4kids:
Nursery Rhyme Activity for Kids
Teddy Bears Everywhere
Learning 4 kids

Where is the Green Sheep?

Activities for Where is the Green Sheep?
We have a long list of favourite children and toddler books in our collection and one of them that we never get bored with is Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. 
My two older kids have grown up reading and listening to this story over and over many, many times.  Without a doubt, I feel it has assisted in their development into confident early readers as this book has repetitive and predictable text with supporting pictures and most importantly it is also so much fun to read!
To continue the learning for this much loved book onto my Miss 2 and at the same time incorporate the learning of the colour green, we have been making our very own Green Sheep Puppet!!
What you will need?
An invitation to play – Here I have set up our activity table with paper fastened down with sticky tape (to stop it from moving), two clean meat trays with light and dark green paint and two toy cars, they just happen to be green for our “green theme”.  You will also need two pop sticks that will be used as the handle for holding up the Green Sheep Puppet. 
Let’s Play
To create our Green Sheep Puppet, we first made some paper by rolling toy cars into light and dark green paint.  This was really effective creating a contrast of two shades of green.  It is also a wonderful opportunity for Miss 2 to play with the paint and watch as patterns were transferred onto the paper from the paint covered wheels on the toy cars. 
When the paper was dry I printed off the Green Sheep outline and used it as a stencil and a guide to create the shape of the green sheep on the paper.  We then cut it out and attached two pop sticks using sticky tape. 
Click here to download and print: Printable The Green Sheep Outline
We played many fun games with the Green Sheep Puppet:
  • Hide and Seek Green Sheep – Hide the Green Sheep Puppet around the house in obvious places that your child will see instantly and won’t have to search for too hard, such as standing up or leaning on the couch.  Ask your child, where is the green sheep? just like in the book.
  • Role Play the Story – Using the Green Sheep Puppet, retell and re-create the different types of sheep in the book such as ‘Here is the wind sheep.’  Slowly move the Green Sheep Puppet through the air making whooshing sounds.
The Learning benefits:
  • Cause and effect
  • Self-expression
  • Imagination and creativity through roll playing with the Green Sheep Puppet
  • Building and strengthening fine motor skills
  • Concentration
  • Eye and hand coordination
  • Language development
*Please always supervise young children during activities* 
 Learning 4 kids
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