Toddler Activities

One and Two: Simple Counting Songs For Learning Early Math

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We’ve been super into counting songs (and dump trucks, obvs) in our house these days! Simple finger-play songs like these help familiarize little ones with numbers and counting, obviously, but also with other early math concepts like addition. Here are two finger-plays that are so easy you can sing them in your sleep, as I do most nap times. Yawn.

Now One More

Sung to the tune of Where Is Thumbkin?

Where is One? Where is One?

Here I am, Here I am (Show one finger)

We’re so glad to see you, so very glad to see you

Now One More, Now One More

Where is Two? Where is Two?

Here I am, Here I am (Show Two Fingers)

We’re so glad to see you, so very glad to see you

Now One More, Now One More

IMG_5745 2.jpgCounting small blocks while singing 

Continue until ten, or twenty, or until you or your kiddo falls asleep, whatever! Sometimes in less sleepy times, I use props (like blocks or finger puppets) instead of my fingers so that we can lay them out and count them after the song ends. Counting  one to ten, then counting down from ten, also adds the idea of subtraction, especially if you remove a prop with each number. For most early learners, addition and subtraction are easier to understand when using concrete objects like blocks or clothespins or spoons, whatever you have around. It can also help reinforce one-to-one correspondence (when your kiddo can point to each object he or she is counting) and the ideas of  quantity (basically understanding which is “more” or “less”).

Side note: More and less also can help with social skills, as sharing and equality come into the mix: “You have four trucks and Jolie has none. You have more. Can you share the trucks?” Not to say this will always work, of course, but it’s worth a try when sharing gets hairy!


Two Little Blackbirds: The Counting Version

Two Little Blackbirds, sitting on a shoe (Use one finger from each hand to represent a blackbird)

One named One and one named Two

Fly away One, fly away Two (fly the blackbirds away one at a time)

Come back One, come back Two (fly the blackbirds back to the middle)

Two Little Blackbirds sitting on the floor (continue finger movement throughout song)

One named Three and one named Four

Fly away Three, fly away Four

Come back Three, come back Four

Two Little Blackbirds, sitting on some sticks

One named Five and one named Six

Fly away Five, fly away Six

Come back Five, come back Six

Two Little BlackBirds, sitting on a gate

One named Seven and one named eight

Fly away Seven, fly away Eight

Come back Seven, come back Eight

Two Little Blackbirds, sitting in a den

One named Nine and One named Ten

Fly away Nine, fly away Ten

Come back Nine, come back Ten

(You can find another version of Two Little Blackbirds in a previous post)


                                                          PS Want more number and math games for early learners?  I’ll post about some quick and easy counting games I made for my two-year-old in literally five minutes with limited supplies (paper, a scissor, and a few markers.) Yup, the dump trucks from the top photo are pieces to the game.

Toddler Activities

Sand Bin: Quiet Time Activity

 

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So I love “quiet boxes” (and “quiet time” however rare it may be sometimes!) and here is one of my favorite quiet box activities because it’s cheap, easy, and hours of fun: an indoor sand bin!

This is just an old (and I mean ancient, I’ve had this thing since high school!) under-the-bed storage bin filled about halfway with play sand that I got from Lowes for about three bucks. I put in some wooden blocks and a bunch of matchbox cars (Kai’s newest obsession) and with almost zero effort, I have bought myself literally hours of quiet time! This is such a great calming activity that fosters a gigantic amount of independence, imaginative and sensory play, spatial and cognitive awareness, and builds fine motor skills to boot. Kai will use this first thing in the morning and before bed or rest time, and it is rather soothing…especially when I add a little distilled lavender oil. It also gives him a sense of ownership and responsibility because he is able to take the cover on and off, spray the sand with some water if it is “too dusty,” and can use his mini broom and dustpan to clean up after himself. (Though a sheet under the whole thing really catches most of the sand that might try to escape.)

It sounds so simple because it really is, but I just had to share it because it has been such an absolutely amazing addition into our day. This is literally his favorite thing, and we didn’t need to spend a bunch of money on a special sand table or sensory bin. Even though we love water play (and have another old bin for that), he really gravitates towards this because he loves making up scenarios for the cars (mostly they get stuck and need a tow), building ramps, and just digging itself can be so calming, even more so than water play for some kiddos. I love it because I get some of that much needed “quiet mom time” to take a little break, and I absolutely adore listening to him talk to his cars and make up little stories about what’s going on in the sand. It’s also been interesting to hear what other things might come up, like a friends name that he hasn’t seen in awhile may be driving one car, or he might start having a conversation with himself about what he wants to do or really, just chatting about whatever is on his mind outside of the cars getting towed, and that information is invaluable to me as a parent. This is a super win-win, hands down!

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