I am all for little ones learning on the move. Running, jumping, walking, climbing, all those things my little ones do all day long are perfect chances for me to add in a little learning. Like number learning on the stairs!
Benjamin is just on the brink of learning his numbers. He can count quite well and he is beginning to recognize some of his numbers. But like many little ones, he has one number he skips when he is counting – surprisingly it is the number five.
He will be counting up a storm – 1, 2, 3, 4, -, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 …
So I thought I would play a little game with him to focus on that number 5. Of course this idea can work for so many things!
And it has all the makings of a perfect preschool activity: simple to set up, easy to play, lots of moving, and learning that can be easily adjusted to be ideal for each little one.
I popped up the numbers 1 through 5 on the stairs, grabbed a few bean bags (though rolled up socks would work too) and let the learning fly! On each number I added the correct number of dots (one dot on one, two dots on two, etc) so he could do some self-learning, checking and correcting.
At first he was just tossing the bean bags and getting the hang of things. Next I would call out a number and he would try to hit that stair with the beanbag. Then he was calling numbers for himself and trying to hit them.
He played this number learning game for a very long time!
Every time he walked up the stairs to collect the beanbags we would count the steps – ending with 5. While he still stumbled each time saying 6, by the end he was correcting himself. I bet that 5 will sneak in there by the end of the week.
Leaving these numbers on the stairs is a great way to practice counting each day too.
Add in some addition to the number learning game:
Once Sam was home we played again, but in a bit of a different way. I would call out a number – like 5 – and he would have to throw 2 bean bags to total that number (we were doing some simple adding). So when I called 5, he threw one beanbag and hit the number 3. He did a quick count and then took aim for the number 2.
Oodles of simple learning with this game.
More ways to play with this learning game:
You could do this same activity with double facts, multiplication, sight words, letters, anything! It’s amazing how many times we actually go up and down the stairs in a day, loads of time to practice those skills!
We sure like to keep things simple, and I must say it just doesn’t get much simpler than this one.