Number Activity: Learn to Count with Grain Bins

Fine Motor
Math & 123s
ToddlersPreschoolers27 Comments

Got a farmer? Try a simple number activity to practice counting to five! This farm activity was a sneaky way to get Henry excited to learn to count!

I’ve been having a little bit of a hard time getting Henry to want to do any kind of activity lately. Especially anything that’s remotely educational.

I brainstormed, trying to figure out what he’d like to do, but still work in some numbers and this is what I came up with:

Learn to Count with Grain Bins

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I numbered five empty baby food jars. (I’m overstocked right now, but I’m finding lots of uses for them lately. What do you use them for?) I numbered both the sides and the lids of the jars with matching colored paper. (I only did five so Henry wouldn’t get overwhelmed, since he seems to be struggling with counting.)

I then filled each jar with the corresponding number of marshmallows. (I did this to show Henry the number to begin with so he wasn’t expected to know it.)

I set out Henry’s track tractor and wagon ‘grain cart’ along with the grain truck. Henry’s a farmer to the bone, so I figured this would get him more involved. It did. I set out a toothpick, as well, with the intention for him to poke the marshmallows to transfer from the ‘grain bins’ to the grain cart. This wasn’t fast enough for Henry, so he just dumped the bins out.

Farm Activity to Learn to Count with Grain Bins

Henry loaded up his grain cart with all five bins worth of marshmallows corn. Then transferred the corn to the grain truck. Which then hauled the corn back to the bins.

When it was time to unload into the bins, Henry unscrewed each lid off, filled up each bin until it was ‘full’ (to the correct number), then quickly found the matching lid and screwed it back on. (Nice work for the fine motor skills, my toothpick idea didn’t work, but this did.)

Henry had no problems with counting 1-3. At 4 he added a few too many. When he got to 5, he realized he didn’t have enough and was puzzled. So, I redirected him back to 4 to recount.

Learn to Count with Grain Bins as a Number Activity
He hauled the corn from bin to grain cart to grain truck a few times, until he eventually ate all his ‘corn’. (He then found Cheerios ‘beans’ to haul and did the same.)

I’m glad to have found a way to include Henry’s interests in counting. Hauling anything is always a hit with him, and the Grain Bin activity wasn’t solely focused on counting, so it was much more fun for him. And me too.

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