# Learning to Count Activity

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?

You will need a large sheet of paper, black marker pen, ruler, scissors, coloured paper and Elmer’s First Counting Book by David McKee. 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.

## 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

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.