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Counting Bears

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It’s really neat homeschooling a preschooler again. This was always one of my favorite ages and now I get to drag out and dust off all those fun things that I did with Josh and Megan, do them with Nim and post about them here, since, um, I had no idea that such a thing (a wonderful, glorious, really addictive thing) as blogging existed back in those dark ages.

I made up little cards, when Josh and Megan were little, to use with our counting bears to help cement the ideas of one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, and number word recognition.

I simply traced the outline of the bottom of the correct number of bears, wrote out the number and the number word and covered the cards with contact paper to make them more durable (though, if I were doing them now, I have grown very fond of 3M’s no-heat laminating sheets and would have used those).

counting bear activities

The child simply places the correct number of counting bears on each card, while counting them. This is perfect for the child who can count aloud, but doesn’t recognize that you’re actually supposed to stop counting when you reach the end of the objects – you know, how they’ll count the same three things over and over and come up with ten.

It really seems to help to understand that each bear has a place to sit and, if there’s not a place for him to sit, he can’t go on that card. You can also use the cards as a one-on-one activity to teach counting in the first place.

preschool math activiites

It’s very simple and there’s a strong possibility that I didn’t explain it very well, but Josh and Megan always enjoyed using the counting cards — as well as any good excuse to play with the counting bears – and Nim seems to enjoy it, as well.

Also, on the subject of counting bears, they’re great for teaching patterns, sorting, categorizing, addition and subtraction. We love them!

Do you have counting bears? What activities do your kids enjoy with them?

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  1. I am going to do this with my youngest! ;-)I have been doing somehing similar but I think this will really help because at times she does count the same thing multiple times.

  2. The first manipulatives I ever purchased were counting bears from Wal-Mart! I really like the activity you came up with… may have to do that with ds5.

  3. Great idea! Thanks for posting. My daughter would love this!! I am going to add you to my blog roll. You have a great blog!

  4. We have the counting bears too, though I ended up improvising with large bear shaped children’s beads that I found in a toy store. We use them for counting, acting out addition and subtration “stories” etc. My kids also loved to play with them on their own time so they’ve gotten plenty of use over the past few years.

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